Is Battle Buddy Service Dogs a non-profit charity?
Yes, BBSD is a 501(c)3 non-profit tax exempt public charity.
Does a Service Dog really help the veteran’s symptoms of PTSD?
Yes! Anecdotal studies show as many as 80% of patients improve. Some are even reducing or eliminating their need for medication.
What kind of tasks will my dog be trained to do and how is that going to help my symptoms of PTSD or TBI?
Some examples included:
Accompany you in public places such as restaurants, grocery stores, buses, etc. helping to ease any anxiety you may experience.
When in a crowded environment your dog will stay between you and another person creating additional space.
Allows you to be less vigilant. Your dog is watching for you allowing you to focus on the dog and not the perimeter.
Help with mobility and unstable walking situations.
A Service Dog is trained to perform a minimum of three (3) tasks specific to its handler’s disability. It is allowed by law to accompany its handler to public places such as the veteran’s work place, restaurants, buses, stores etc. These are rights set forth in the American Disability Act (ADA).
How is a service dog qualification accomplished?
We qualify our service dogs by training them to meet and pass the Canine Good Citizen and the Public Access test. In addition we require a minimum of three (3) service tasks that the dog performs. We give our veteran a written exam with questions dealing with proper health care, husbandry, and training techniques of their dog. We also examine the veteran on their knowledge of the ADA laws. When all of these are accomplished, our veteran and their dog graduate and the dog qualifies as a service dog.
How much will your program cost the veteran?
There is no cost to the veterans for the adoption, training and some veterinary care during the training period.
The veterans are responsible for their own transportation costs to and from training.
All of our dogs will be spayed, neutered, vaccinated and receive all recommended preventative medications prior to placement. Following graduation, ownership of the rescue dog is transferred to the veteran who will then be responsible for costs and care.
Where do the dogs come from?
BBSD is devoted to rescuing homeless dogs. We have a network of rescue groups and shelters throughout Missouri and Kansas to acquire our dogs.
Can I use my own dog for training?
Yes, in some cases. We will evaluate your dog for behavior and temperament standards to determine if it will be accepted into our training program. Some examples of characteristics of your dog we will not accept are; Aggressive behavior of any type towards people or other animals, Extreme anxiety or nervousness. Wolf Hybrids will not be accepted for training as service dogs. Age is another important consideration. Dogs under the age of 1 and over the age of 3 will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
Can I pick out my dog or choose the breed?
When selecting a dog for our program, the first consideration is whether the dog is capable of doing the work. Secondarily, the dog must be of the size and temperament to be a good fit for the veteran’s living situation. Breed/type preferences can be considered after other criteria are met.
Will the dog be fostered during its training?
No. Once the dog is paired with its handler, they live together from that point on. Our program is based on an owner-handler model, which emphasizes the human-animal bond by teaching the handler to train his/her dog. This model also empowers the handler to continue lifelong training of his/her dog.
Can my Service Dog be used by other members of my family?
No. The dog and Veteran are trained together to crate a personal bond. The service dog is trained to key to this Veterans needs and tasks. Family members will be given basic handler training for emergency situations where the Veteran may not be able to care for the dog. i.e. Veteran is hospitalized for a medical emergency, family member may need to care for dog temporarily.
How long will the training take before my dog and I graduate?
On average, Service Dog training takes 6-9 months to complete the program.
Do I need to be a Missouri resident to be accepted into the program?
No. We will consider all U.S. Military Veterans diagnosed with PTSD and or TBI. You must be able to attend the training classes that are currently being held in the Kansas City Missouri area during the entire training period.
How do I apply for a service dog?
Go to the Application page on our website, complete the online form and submit it. We will then email a more comprehensive application packet to you for consideration of placement and training with a service dog.
If you do not have email access, we can mail the application packet. Please call 816.298.7113 to request a packet be mailed to you.
What is involved in the application process?
Go to our Application page. Complete and submit the initial application form. You can call us at 816.298.7113 if you have any questions.
We will e-mail or mail a formal application to you. The application paperwork includes; Application Form, Copy of DD214, Confirmation of Diagnosis letter, Release of Information Form(s) and 2 Letters of Reference.
Complete and return your paperwork for review.
BBSD representatives will contact you to set up a home visit.
After all of this is completed, the board will review the application paperwork, home visit results and make a recommendation on acceptance.
Where do you train?
We are currently only training in the Kansas City, Missouri area.
Do you accept veterans not diagnosed with PTSD or TBI?
No. A confirmation of diagnosis is required as part of the application process.
Do you accept non veterans that have PTSD or TBI?
Currently, our services are only offered to U.S. military members or veterans.
How long does it take to get notification of acceptance to the program?
From the point of you having all your paperwork submitted, the veteran will be notified within 30 days of acceptance to the program.
Once accepted, how long before I can start the program?
If we are partnering you with a dog, searching for a rescue dog may take an extended period of time. The type of dog needed is dictated by the veteran’s needs and current living situation.
Please note, if you do not currently own a dog do not go out and get one for this program. We have strict standards and each dog is evaluated to see if they meet very specific standards. If you get your own dog, there is no guarantee it will meet our qualifications.
Do you give talks to local organizations?
Absolutely! If you are interested in having Battle Buddy Service Dogs attend your presentation or event please call 816.298.7113 or you may email: [email protected] In your e-mail include: contact name, phone number, e-mail address, organization info and proposed date(s) time of event. Our Event Coordinator will contact you.