Our main goal is to help people be more at ease. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive.
If we missed yours, or you’re looking for more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

Dogs Helping Heroes (DHH) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission to: “help restore lost freedom and peace of mind to Kentuckiana Gold Star Families, wounded heroes, and their families by providing specially trained and certified assistance dogs.”

DHH custom trains dogs for mobility and emotional assistance for Veterans and First responders with disabilities obtained during the course of their career. We also custom train dogs for Gold Star Families to assist them in coping with their loss. We do not train dogs for the following:

  • Guide the blind.
  • Deaf or hearing impaired.
  • Detect a diabetic crisis.
  • Detect medical symptoms.
  • Provide supervision, navigation, or safety from environmental hazards.
  • Respond aggressively or provide personal protection.
  • General disabilities such as cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, etc.
  • Autism

It is imperative that our trainers be able to work extensively with the Hero/Dog team throughout the training process. In addition, prior to service dog graduation, it will be necessary for the recipient to travel to Jeffersonville, Indiana for an average of 10 lessons over the 6-9 month training period. Therefore, it will be the policy of DHH to serve a 200-mile radius of Clarksville, Indiana.

Under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), all businesses that serve the public, such as restaurants, hotels, retail stores, taxicabs, theaters, concert halls, and sports facilities, are prohibited from discriminating against individuals with disabilities. The ADA requires these businesses to allow people with disabilities to bring their service dogs onto business premises in whatever areas customers are generally allowed. Additional charges for admitting the service dog to an establishment or fares for transportation cannot be required. Only religious facilities and residential facilities may refuse service dog entry.

Be trained to perform at least three tasks to mitigate the client’s disability. The client must also be provided with enough training to be able to meet the ADI Minimum Standards for Assistance Dogs in Public. The client must be able to demonstrate:

  • That their dog can perform at least three tasks.
  • Knowledge of acceptable training techniques.
  • An understanding of canine care and health.
  • The ability to maintain training, problem solve and continue to train/add new skills (as required) with their service dog.
  • Knowledge of local access laws and appropriate public behavior.

The majority of our dogs are rescue/shelter dogs. All dogs are selected by our Trainer/Consultants and must also be approved by our Veterinarian. We do not train personal dogs.

Industry cost to select, raise, train, and place a public access tested/approved service dog is estimated to be $20,000 to $25,000.

Dogs Helping Heroes will provide our qualified dogs to approved veterans, first responders, and Gold Star families at no charge. Should the recipient and support team want to raise funds through a fundraiser or make personal donations, it will be greatly appreciated.

Acquisition of a Dogs Helping Heroes Dog is a Five-step process.

Step #1 – Fill out the Application Form.

Step #2 – The Application Committee will review all applicants on a quarterly basis.

Step #3 – Application Committee will schedule approved applicants for an interview.

Step #4 – A Home inspection will be conducted by members of the application committee.

Step #5 – Dog/Client Match (this process may take up to 1 year depending on the availability of dogs within the DHH program). 

To read the full application process, click here.

Initial costs: $100-$500 (food/water bowls, grooming supplies, dog bed, toys). Yearly expenses: $600-$1,600 (vaccines, food, heartworm/flea preventative, grooming, treats, leashes, etc.).

Dog selection and training are performed by Duffy’s Dog Training Center. Some of our dogs receive their basic obedience in a prison training program before starting advanced training at Duffy’s. For more information on our trainers, please see the training center website here: https://www.whitefangventures.com/duffys-dog-train…

DHH is an all-volunteer organization and is funded by private contributions from individuals, groups, and corporations. We also seek grants from corporations and foundations, as well as conduct several fundraising events annually.

We do not train personal dogs.

Our dogs are generally 1-3 years of age.

Men and women who served our country in the U.S. Military, Law Enforcement, Fire Services, or Emergency Medical Services, and who now suffer from mobility impairment, traumatic brain injury, or a clinical diagnosis of psychiatric impairment, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and Gold Star families who need assistance in coping with their loss.

All applicants must be approved by our application committee. All applicants must be able to express how an assistance dog would enhance their quality of life and independence.

To learn more about how to apply for an assistance dog, simply visit our Application page by clicking here: Apply Now

It is our goal to match the right dog with the specific needs of each recipient. For that reason, our Training Team reviews each recipient application, and your wait time will depend on us having a dog that can best suit your specific needs. Another determining factor will be the amount of specialized training required to meet your needs.

Applicants seeking a successor service dog are given priority in screening and placement.

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