Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a service dog?
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a service animal is defined as a dog that has been specifically trained to perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed by the animal must be directly related to the person's disability. Dogs that provide comfort just by being with a person are not considered service animals because they have not been trained in a specific job or task.
2. Can any dog be a service dog?
No. Not all dogs are suited to service dog work. Temperament, training, and health play a big role in creating the perfect service dog.
3. Where does MAWP place service dogs?
MAWP places dogs throughout the state of Florida. We do not accept applications from people who reside out of state.
4. Does MAWP train all types of service dogs?
No. We do NOT train Guide Dogs for the visually impaired or Hearing Dogs for the deaf. We also do NOT train dogs for diabetic alert/response, to anticipate or detect medical symptoms, for the primary benefit of emotional comfort, to recognize/manage undesirable human behavior, to provide supervision, navigation, or safety from environmental hazards, to respond aggressively, or to provide personal protection.
5. Can a MAWP dog alert me to an oncoming seizure?
We do not train dogs to predict seizures, only to respond to a seizure that is happening or has happened.
6. How much does a MAWP dog cost?
MAWP needs to raise at least $30,000 to cover the cost of breeding, care, customized training and equipment, and continued support of each team. We have a training fee policy of 5% of yearly household income with a minimum of $5,000 and a maximum of $30,000, due upon being paired with a service dog. We are willing to give suggestions to prospective clients wanting to fund raise on MAWP's behalf and have suggestions to make it easy.
7. What are the responsibilities of the person receiving a MAWP dog?
Each client must successfully complete a two-week educational course at the MAWP facility in Deland, FL. The dog must be used in the working capacity for which it was intended. Clients must be committed to maintaining the dog's training though the lifetime of the team and to providing the proper care, feeding, housing, and medical needs of the canine. It is advisable to research yearly veterinary, grooming, and feeding costs in your area prior to applying for a service dog. MAWP provides ongoing training support for our teams.
8. What breeds of dog does MAWP use?
MAWP mainly uses Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and crosses of the two breeds. Occasionally MAWP has poodles, poodle mixes as well as German Shepherds. All dogs must pass specialized health and temperament screenings to continue their training and hopeful placement as service dogs.
9. How long are the dogs in training?
Typically dogs are in training for approximately 2 years.
10. Where do MAWP dogs come from?
We breed some of our dogs from our strategic breeding program. Some dogs are donated by private individuals or breeders, and MAWP makes every attempt to rescue dogs from animal shelters for training when qualified dogs are available.
11. How can I get a MAWP dog?
The first step is to contact our office. We will ask questions to see if we can help you. If there is chance we can help you, we will set up an appointment with you to come interview with us at our facility in Deland, FL. If we determine during your interview that we can help you, we will give you an application.
12. I have contacted your office and you haven't responded. Why?
MAWP is a 100% volunteer-run organization. Our volunteers work very hard to make sure everyone is contacted in a timely manner. However, due to the large number of phone calls and requests for a service dog, our response times can be a little long. We aim to get in touch within a week or two.
13. How long is the wait list?
Clients can wait a minimum of 1 to 3 years before receiving a dog. Right now our waiting list is closed due to its length. We will update the site when it's open again. Please feel free to check back!
14. Why is the wait list so long? Why can't you tell me for sure how long I have to wait?
We do everything in our power to match approved clients with a dog as quickly as possible. However, finding the right dog to match your specific needs, personality, and environment is not an exact science. Many factors are taken into consideration. Because of this, our wait list varies depending on your situation and the current status of dogs we have in training.
15. Is there somewhere I can browse a list of your available service dogs to pick one out?
No. Though we have a minimum standard of training, each MAWP dog has their own temperament and personality. A lot of thought goes into each pairing to ensure a successful match. If you are accepted to the program, our staff will invite you to meet the dog or dogs that are most likely to suit your needs and evaluate from there.
16. Can I train my own dog to be my service dog through MAWP?
No. We no longer offer an Owner Trainer Program.
17. I want to help. How do I become a puppy trainer/ volunteer for MAWP?
Thanks for your interest! Click here for more information on the many ways you can become part of the MAWP family.