Do I have to be a veteran to work with your organization? No, while our primary focus has been veterans and first responders, we have heard the calls from others that have also experienced PTSD, TBI, anxiety, environmental stressors and have needs for mobility assistance.
What does it cost? Ultimately we try and get our Service Dogs to recipients for little or no cost, and through our partnerships with various organizations, this is often the reality. The basic cost for a Service Dog from us is $10,000, and can go up to $15,000 if the required tasks are extensive. It is dependent on the amount of time needed to train the dog.
What financial assistance do you offer? Depending on your situation, we have several partnerships, grants and assistance options. When we consult with you, we will ask about military service, whether you were a victim of an accident/crime, etc. to see which assistance program you may qualify for.
What if I don’t live in Texas? Not a problem! We have international clients! We have several hotels within minutes of our location and training areas, and whether you need to participate in the 2, 4 or 6 week period of instruction, we will get you comfortable with the tools, knowledge and confidence to integrate your Service Dog into your lifestyle before you leave us. On some occasions, we will deliver the dog to you, so that we can help you with location specific tasks (light switches in your home, home environment, etc.). Often times we do follow up training with clients in their home whether they received their dog from our location or we delivered it.
What can a Service Dog do to help me? All behaviors that we train the dog to do are based on your individual symptomology. People are different, as are their needs. Anywhere from emotional balance, bracing, mobility assistance needs, prosthetic retrieval, activating light switches, etc. Dogs can serve a multitude of needs!
How long before I receive a Service Dog? The factors that dictate this are finding the appropriate dog, how extensive the list of required tasks are, how much of the training we are personally doing etc. As of May 2018, the waiting list is about three months, as we have dogs in training waiting to be paired up with their new handler and trained to that specific person.
Can I be specific with the sex or breed of my Service Dog? We try to accommodate this request as much as possible. The more specific the request, the longer it can take to find the right dog.
What is the process for obtaining a dog through Operation Overwatch? First, you fill out an application form, and then upon receipt of that, we will set up an initial phone call so we can get a more precise idea of how we can help you. Then, we get the financial pieces in place, and begin looking for and then training your new best friend! After basic obedience and personalized tasks are mastered, then we pair you and your partner together so that you can start the rapport building, basic training and symptom mitigating training that is needed. Upon completion of training, a certification of training, ID card, veterinarian records, Service Dog vest and equipment are issued and you take your first steps back home to your new life!
Can you train a dog I already own? We certainly can after we have evaluated the dog for social and environmental stability, nerves and temperament.
What age does my canine have to be to begin the training? Proper training of any dog start early! While a puppy is typically not certified as a Service Dog until an age of maturity is reached and specific skills are mastered, the foundation for proper socialization, the concepts of learning, environmental awareness and many other life skills can start right away. Ask about our Puppy Preschool program!