Having a service dog is life-changing. They help unlock freedom to those in need of everyday assistance due to a disability. Every day service dogs are performing tasks for their human counterparts, from the traditional, such as “seeing-eye” guide dogs, to the brand new, such as seizure detection or being a support system for someone with MS. These dogs work to empower their owners to be more independent. And these canine companions help increase social interaction and boost self-esteem. Sadly, the high cost makes it difficult for people to afford.
Crowdfunding for a service dog is a great way to show support for someone who has a life changing disability and needs help from man’s best friend to help guide them through their daily lives.
Guide Dog Versus Service Dog
Many people assume that a guide dog and service dog serve the same purpose, but that is incorrect. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers a good definition of each:
What is a Guide Dog?
Guide dogs are trained to lead the blind or vision impaired. It is trained as a pilot to direct its owner in a straight line while avoiding obstacles in all directions. The guide dog acts as the eyes of their owner.
What is a Service Dog?
A service dog is trained to do specific tasks for a person who cannot do them on their own due to a disability. A canine companion can pick up things, help a person maintain balance or be trained in other supporting tasks.
Service Dog Facts
- Their training takes more than one year to complete. And they have to take a test before given to a family.
- Service dogs are not required to wear a vest that identifies it as such.
- Any dog breed can become a service dog. However, retrievers are known to be a reliable choice.
- Service dogs aren’t considered pets according to the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).
- They can accompany their handlers to any public place.
- They are always on the job, so you shouldn’t pet them unless the handler agrees.
Service Dog Costs to Consider
The cost of training a service dog will vary based on the individual’s disabilities and needs. It is estimated that basic service dog training costs around $7,000 and reaches over $20,000 for more intense types of training. Service dogs need a small amount of ongoing maintenance that you should factor into the budget.
Remember to consider the cost of food. On top of that, you need to take into account transportation costs to get to and from training. And people often hire dog walkers to keep their dog’s exercise balanced, which is another expense.
But you can raise the money you need with crowdfunding. Creating a campaign allows others to lend a helping hand in the training and care of your dog.
Online Fundraising With No Fees
YouCaring charges no fees to set up a fundraiser because they believe it shouldn’t cost a penny to ask for help for a good cause. The only costs are the third party credit card processing fees (2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction) of which YouCaring receives nothing. Instead, they run on kind donations from those who support their mission.
When you, your family, or someone you know is faced with difficult times, people want to know how they can help. Families find great comfort in the caring and support shared through online donations.
Want to know more about service dogs out and about? Check out the Americans with Disabilities Act section about service animals. If you think you or someone you know could benefit from a service dog, check out this article that walks you through what the process of what it’s like to apply for and attain a service dog. If you’ve already decided that a canine caregiver would be a good match for you, check out this directory that can help you find a trainer in your area.