Becoming a Canine Support Teams Service Dog takes a very special combination of health, skill, and behavioral soundness. Service dog requirements are extremely demanding, and not all dogs end up meeting those criteria. Even so, the dogs that are released from our program are still incredibly talented and well-trained; we lovingly call them “career change” dogs. For the small percentage of career change dogs that are not adopted by the volunteer(s) who raised them, we commit to finding loving forever homes for them through our dog adoption program.

Our Dogs

First and foremost, our goal will always be to place dogs who are behaviorally sound and capable of meeting the strenuous requirements of service work. Dogs are career changed from our program due to one of the following reasons:

Medical reasons may include allergies, gastrointestinal issues, joint problems, or other health concerns. We prioritize the well-being of our teams and focus on training only the healthiest dogs to ensure a long working life.

Behavioral reasons for career changes can vary and may include high activity levels, poor house manners, low recall, high distractibility, low confidence or fearfulness, incompatibility with cats or other dogs, or assertiveness requiring strong handler leadership.

On rare occasions, we may also have retired service dogs available for adoption. These senior dogs have retired from their service duties and are eagerly anticipating a life of luxury as beloved pets.

Most of our adoptable dogs are aged between 1 and 3 years and may belong to any of our preferred breeds, including Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Poodles, and Poodle crosses. These dogs are spayed/neutered, microchipped, and are up to date on all necessary vaccines, and flea/tick, and heartworm preventatives. Additionally, they have received some level of training either in a home environment or through participation in one of our prison programs.

If there are currently no adoptable dogs available, or if none of the available dogs meet your specific needs, you are still encouraged to fill out the application. This will place you on our career change waitlist, and we will reach out to you if we find a dog that is a suitable match.

Adoption Criteria

Our selection and matching process is based on suitability rather than on a first-come, first-served basis. Dogs are matched in consideration of the dog’s needs and the potential adopting home. All adoptable dogs require a commitment from their adoptive families to spend the time, energy, and possible expense of addressing the individual dog’s issues to make the match work.

To adopt a Canine Support Teams career change dog, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be at least 21 years of age.
  • Make sure everyone in your household knows and agrees that your new friend can live there.
  • Have valid identification with your current address.
  • Be able to work with the medical or behavioral needs of the dog.
  • Have either a fully fenced area or kennel run at least five feet in height.
  • Be willing to facilitate a meet and greet with any other pets in the home.

How to Adopt

Application: Fill out our adoption application to help us understand your preferences, living situation, and experience with dogs. This information ensures that we can match you with a dog that complements your lifestyle and requirements.

Meet and Greet: Once your application is approved, we’ll arrange a meet-and-greet session with you and your potential furry companion. This will give you the opportunity to interact with the dog, ask questions, and see if there is a connection.

Home Visit: A member of our team will conduct a virtual home visit to ensure that your living environment is suitable for a dog and to address any specific requirements or concerns.

Adoption Day: Congratulations! If everything goes smoothly during the meet-and-greet and home visit, you may officially welcome your new furry friend into your home. Our team will give you all necessary information, including health records, and tips for a successful transition.


Frequently Asked Questions

All rehoming fees collected go directly towards acquiring and training other potential service dogs. The rehoming fees vary depending on the amount of training and expenses incurred for the dog up to that point. Rehoming fees are waived for veterans.
Many of our dogs are compatible with both cats and dogs. We have a requirement that our career change dogs meet any household pets in a neutral space during the meet and greet to ensure their new life together will be mutually beneficial. However, it is important to note that some dogs are career changed due to incompatibility with other pets. In such cases, they would need to be the only pet in the home.

You can find our career change application here

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