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Service Dogs Alabama provides Service Dogs to children who meet these criteria: 

  • Is a resident of Alabama.

  • Is 13 years old or older, depending on maturity.

  • The recipient is attending a traditional public or private school or is active as a homeschooler.

  • The recipient has the ability and responsibility to care for, manage, and make safety decisions for his or her dog independently.

  • The recipient has no history of violent behavior.

  • The recipient has a qualifying disability for a service dog under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

  • Completes the application and meets financial responsibilities (see application process).

  • Has a recommendation for a service dog from a medical doctor who has treated the applicant for at least six months.

  • The home passes an inspection to certify that the living environment is safe and comfortable for a dog (fenced yards are required with few exceptions).

  • The family passes a formal interview to ensure all family members are supportive.

  • The family has the financial means to properly support a service dog and the time required to assist in maintaining the dog’s training.

  • The recipient's (or parent's lifestyle is suitable for having a service dog.

  • The recipient (or parent) agrees to the SDA Care and Training Guidelines.

  • The recipient (or parent) agrees to attend training sessions as requested by SDA Trainers.

  • The recipient (or parent) agrees to re-evaluation and re-certification requirements at our Training Facility in Hope Hull, AL, annually for the first three years that he/she has his/her SDA service dog.

  • The recipient (or parent) commits to annual check-ins for the dog's working life.

  • The recipient and family agree to attend a week-long training session at the time of the dog’s placement with their child.

SDA trains service dogs for children diagnosed with:

  • Certain types of Autism, primarily Asperger’s Syndrome

  • Disorders that require assistance for balance or wheelchairs such as MS, Dysautonomia, joint and muscular disorders, and Spina Bifida

  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

  • Seizure Assistance

The Process to Apply:

  • Read the Qualifications to make sure that you qualify for a Service Dog.

  • Print the application, the funding agreement, the doctor’s form, and two recommendation forms from the SDA website. Complete them, and mail them to Service Dogs Alabama, P.O. Box 310, Falkville, AL 35622, with a $25.00 non-refundable application fee made payable to Service Dogs Alabama.

  • Have two friends you have known for over a year who are non-family members fill out the Letter of Reference FORM on the Application. 

  • Have your Medical Doctor fill out the Doctor’s form on the Application. This doctor must have treated you for six months or more. 

  • We will notify you via email after your completed Application is received. 

  • If you are a good candidate for one of our Service Dogs, we will schedule a home visit and family interview within 60 days after your application review. 

  • After your Home Inspection, we will notify you about any changes in your home environment that you need to make OR if no changes are necessary, we will notify you of your acceptance and instruct you on how to proceed.

  • Please keep in mind that it takes time to select and train a Service Dog for your specific needs. Wait times can vary from 1- 2 years. Waiting is the hardest part! Your patience is greatly appreciated. 


All Service Dogs placed by SDA are 100% guaranteed to work for you or we will be take them back within the first 6 months and assign another dog to you. You will be provided with all Veterinary records for your dog. SDA does not guarantee the future health of your dog after 3 years due to external contributing factors. At the time of placement, the recipient becomes responsible for all medical care for their service dog. If at any time you are unable to keep your service dog, you must return it to Service Dogs Alabama. All service dogs are transitioned to their recipient on a 30-day trial basis to make sure that particular dog is the right match for you. SDA reserves the right to repossess a service dog if we feel that it is being mishandled according to the Care and Training Guidelines provided to each recipient.