VETERANS: We are accepting applications for veterans at this time. Please be aware that your disability MUST be service-related and you must have served in the US Military to quality for the Veteran Program. Wait time for a service dog is approximately 1 year.
CIVILIANS: Currently, we are not accepting applications for civilians. Please check back in January 2021 to see if the status has been changed.
If you are looking for a service dog, please visit Assistance Dogs International for a list of alternative programs that might meet your needs.
Apply For a Dog
Brigadoon Service Dogs is proud to provide service dogs to children, adults, and veterans with physical, developmental, and behavioral health disabilities. We require all applicants to live in the Pacific Northwest or British Columbia unless prior approval has been given by our Executive Director for applicants who live in other states to apply for a service dog.
To begin our application process, we encourage you to read the requirements below so that you can familiarize yourself with the process. To learn more about what our dogs can do, visit the About Our Dogs page under the Apply for a Dog tab above. Once you've decided to submit an application, you can download and print the application provided below. Make sure you've included all components of your application, including the $250.00 non-refundable application fee (this does not guarantee acceptance into our program), and you can mail it to us at:
Brigadoon Service Dogs
4759 Mission Road
Bellingham, WA 98226
After we've received your completed application, we will contact you within two weeks to set up an interview and home visit to learn more about your needs as a client and providing more information about the other aspects of the application process. We will also tour your home and learn more about the potential service dog's future home. During this visit, we make sure that it is a safe environment, we look at the space the dog will be required to work in, and much more. We will work with you closely to ensure that you are made aware of how you can make your home a more welcoming and safe environment for a service dog.
Reasons Why Your Application Might Not Be Approved
Our goal is not to deny applications we receive, but for the health and safety of our dogs, in select cases, an application may not be approved for the following reasons:
You or someone in your household smoke (tobacco) in the house or around where the service dog would be. Dogs can get lung cancer from secondhand smoke just as easy as humans and it can be fatal for dogs.
If the condition of the house is possibly harmful to the dog (loose wires, hoarding, chemicals within reach of the dog, etc.)
If there is any breed of animal in the house that was originally bred to kill animals (this includes "bully" breeds of dogs like pit bulls.)
There could be other reasons for a denial, which will be addressed at the time of review of the application.
Life on the Service Dog Program Waitlist
Once you are on the program's waitlist, you wait until we have the perfect dog come through our program. Oftentimes, this can take more than a year because we want to match you with the right dog for your needs and your lifestyle.
On average, it takes 2-3 years from the beginning of the application process (application submission) to the very end (graduation). We are hoping to lower this waiting period in the near future through increased grant funding.
While on the waitlist, many of our clients begin their fundraising efforts. At Brigadoon, we estimate that the care, training, housing, and feeding of our service dogs cost upwards of $30,000 or more per dog over the 2-year training period. We ask that our clients raise $10,000 towards the cost of their dog which is due the first day of Team Training. Therefore, our clients often have over 2 years to reach their fundraising goal. We love working with our clients and we are always surprised by the generosity of community members coming to the aid of a fellow citizen!
We do not require our veterans to raise $10,000. We appreciate all that our veterans have done for our country, and providing a service dog at no cost is the least that we can do as thanks.
Once a client is matched with their future service dog, they are asked to come onto Brigadoon's campus for a 2-week long intensive Team Training course. We ask that our clients provide their own transportation and housing during the Team Training course. This course works to familiarize clients with their new service dog and its unique abilities. Many times, a service dog will be the first dog that a client has ever owned. Our course is designed to be inclusive of the needs of our various clients.
During the course, Brigadoon will provide lunch, as well as many useful printed materials and pamphlets. Because of this, we ask that our veterans provide $1,000 once they come in for team training, in order to offset these costs. For our clients who have fundraised their $10,000, there is no fee for your Team Training, as the money you've raised to pay for your service dog is used toward the lunches and the team training manual.