What is a service dog?
“A service animal is a working animal, not a pet. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a service animal as any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Dogs that satisfy this definition are considered service animals under the ADA regardless of whether they have been licensed or certified by a state or local government, or any other entity." Taken from the NY State Office of the Attorney General Service Animals in Public Accommodations brochure.
What does OAE do?
Operation at Ease takes dogs from shelters, pairs them with deserving veterans and first responders and provides a free guided training program for post traumatic stress and light mobility service dogs. If our applicants believe they already have a suitable dog in their home we are happy to temperament test them to see if they can be used in our program.
What is a guided training program?
A guided training program means that we provide the venue and tools needed for you to train your own service dog in accordance with the Americans With Disabilities Act
What are the benefits of a guided training program?
Participating in a guided training program provides people the ability to be hands on and proactive in their treatment. Small group classes get them accustomed to working alongside their peers again in a non judgmental, stress free environment. We have found that this weekly commitment helps combat isolation, anxiety and depression. We use only force free, positive reinforcement methods when we train our dogs and we accommodate to the needs and abilities of our teams so that they can be successful. This program builds self confidence and provides a sense of purpose
Do I need to come to every class for eight months straight?
In order to maintain the fluidity of the curriculum, please apply only if you are able to make the commitment to attend every class. There are no make up classes available. If you need to miss a class for extenuating circumstances it must be discussed and approved by your trainer beforehand.
How much does this program cost?
The service dog program is 100% free to veterans and first responders. Other classes are available to the public (therapy dog, puppy, beginner dog/basic obedience training) at a cost that helps support our shelter to service dog program.