Service dogs o er proven benefits, but it’s almost impossible to get one — unless you’re willing to spend $30K.
Though it depends on the type of service dog you’re after, the process of bringing one into a family is onerous, says Danielle Forbes, National Service Dogs executive director. Even if you or your child have the right diagnosis and can provide a safe home (all things that should be taken into account by a reputable service dog provider), many programs in Canada no longer have open wait-lists. Since each individual service dog requires upwards of $30K of training over its lifespan, and respectable programs tend to cover those costs with donations, these organizations simply don’t have the financial resources to meet the growing demand. “People are desperate, and they’re turning to self-training opportunities and buying dogs off people,” says Forbes, with some families paying into the tens of thousands of dollars, sometimes for dogs that aren’t trained or capable of providing adequate support. But you can make a difference by donating to local organizations to help bring more properly trained dogs to the children and adults who so badly need them.