The ADA defines a person with a disability as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Ex. Paralysis or other mobility impairment, blind, hearing impaired, PTSD, or traumatic brain injury.
Even though a Service Dog is here to assist you, you still must be capable of caring for the dog's physical and mental needs: feeding, mental & physical activity, and to be able to financially afford ongoing care (food, supplies, medical bills, etc).
Our program acquires pups from breeders or rescues that are then home-raised with a professional trainer. Our pups enjoy a wonderful puppyhood in Aspen while developing important life skills early on. Puppyhood is a balance of training and fun, so we end up with a dog that loves to work and play (besides, work is play anyway!) Being raised with a trainer sets our pups up for greater success in all areas of life and minimizes training time while maximizing results. As the pup matures, we discover what tasks the dog enjoys and develop their skills to tailor to our applicant's needs. Due to our unique process, we are usually able to place dogs with their handler at a younger age then most large organizations. Since we serve locals, our applicants can get involved in our training process (handling puppies during training classes, exposing pups to medical equipment, bathing pups and cleaning kennels...) This also gives us the opportunity to learn more about our applicants so we can choose the best partner for them. This is just part of the secret sauce that increases the success rate for our dogs and handlers!
Raising & training a Service Dog can be a very costly endeavor. EPSD's goal is to make Service Dogs accessible for those in need with scholarships and sliding scale pricing, which allows us to provide low to no cost Service Dogs to income qualified individuals. During your interview, we will discuss financial feasibility and determine a reasonable, non-burdensome cost for your Service Dog. These funds could come out-of-pocket and you can have the option of raising funds through tax deductible donations. We never want the cost of a Service Dog to be a burden! We are happy to help you with this!