Q:

How do you get a service animal?

A:

Quick Answer

To acquire a service animal, a person must meet certain criteria, fill out an application, and wait to be accepted. The entire process can take up to 24 months to complete.

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Full Answer

People are eligible for a service animal if they are at least 14-years old, have a debilitating medical condition, can provide for the animal, and have no other dogs in the home, although other pets are allowed.

Those meeting the eligibility requirements are invited to request an application from the PAWS website. The application must be filled out in its entirety, including verifiable references and full medical documentation.

  1. Request an application
  2. Visit the PAWS website to request an application. Applications may only be sent via regular mail. Fill in each section and provide all necessary information, as incomplete applications will not be considered.

  3. Return the application and wait for acceptance
  4. Return the application as soon as possible. Once PAWS representatives have verified references and medical information, applicants will receive a letter declining the service animal or inviting the applicant to continue with the process, usually within 10 to 14 days.

  5. Finish the process
  6. Within 2 to 18 months, a PAWS representative will visit the applicant's home and perform an interview with all family members. He or she will determine a patient's need and within 6 weeks, an applicant will receive a letter letting them know whether they have been accepted into the program.

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