General FAQ
Foster Family FAQ
Team Training FAQ
Applicant FAQ

General FAQ

Q: What are the requirements for receiving an assistance dog?
A. The minimum age for applicants is 12 years of age for a service dog, and 5 years of age for Special Needs Therapy Dogs. Applicants must live within a 250-mile radius of Northwest Ohio. ADAI assistance dogs are paired with children and adults having mobility-impaired disabilities.

Q: How are dogs chosen for each consumer?
A. Dogs are chosen based on information obtained from applications and personal interviews conducted by our staff. ADAI uses primarily Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers and mixes thereof. All of our dogs are rescued from animal shelters, pounds or purchased/donated to ADAI by pet owners and breeders.

Q: How long is the waiting period for a dog?
A. Currently, the average wait is 12 to 18 months. The waiting list is a necessity to place the dog with the appropriate consumer based on the dog's strengths and the consumer's needs and environment.

Q: Is there a cost?
A. The application and equipment fee is the only money required for consumers to obtain a dog. These fees help to offset the travel expenses for the home interviews, paperwork, and supplies provided once the dog is placed with a consumer.

Q: How can people help with raising funds for ADAI?
A. Prior to receiving their dogs, many clients go to various individuals and groups in their community to ask for financial support. These organizations are often willing to set up fundraisers to defray your travel and living expenses during your training class. In addition, these organizations are often willing to make a contribution to ADAI to partially or entirely cover the more than $18,000 it costs to train and certify an assistance dog. Although individual goals would be to raise the expense money and $18,000, even only raising a portion of this sum would be helpful.

Q: Are fenced yards needed to receive a dog?
A. While it is not required, it is highly recommended that a suitable area for relieving and exercising of dogs be worked out with the consumer. Other alternatives are cable runs or invisible fencing systems. It is very important that consumers are able to provide regular daily eliminating opportunities and appropriate exercise for our large breed dogs. This is most easily accomplished with a fenced-in area.

Foster Family FAQ

Q: What kind of time commitment is involved?
A. Most dogs will be in your household for six to nine months. You will need to spend structured time training with your dog for about 15 minutes a day. Your dog should be taken in public areas three times a week. In addition, you are required to meet with an ADAI trainer monthly to discuss your dog's progress and receive instruction on our training methods.

Q: What breeds of dogs does ADAI utilize?
A. The vast majority of our dogs are Labrador and Golden Retrievers and mixes thereof between the ages of six months and two years old. Our puppy-raising program is for puppies donated to ADAI around 8 to 12 weeks of age.

Q: What responsibilities will I have as a foster home volunteer?

  • Meet with an ADAI trainer individually or in class setting on a monthly basis.
  • Socialize your dog in a variety of public places.
  • Keep a weekly/daily journal of your dog's progress, problems, etc.
  • Train your dog daily in accordance with the ADAI techniques and philosophies as indicated in the Foster Home Curriculum.
  • Provide transportation to the vet, when the need arises.
  • Provide a safe, clean, and loving environment for your dog.
  • Provide a secure, confined area for your dog to exercise and relieve himself.

Q: How does ADAI obtain dogs for training?
A. ADAI receives dogs from breeders, animal shelters and private individuals. 

Q: How do I become an ADAI foster parent?
A. Fill out the Foster Parent Application. If you cannot print the application, call our Training Center and we will be happy to send you one. After we receive your completed application, one of our staff will make arrangements to visit you for a personal home interview. At this time the program will be explained to you in greater detail. The staff member will want to know where the dog will sleep, go outside, and be exercised. We will also want to make sure all members of your household are supportive of this project. If the foster home arrangements are agreeable to all concerned, you will receive your Foster Home Curriculum and arrangements will be made for you to receive a dog.

Q: What financial responsibility will I have?
A. You will be responsible for small miscellaneous expenses like toys, treats, grooming supplies, etc. Iams is a sponsor of ADAI and provides all our dog food needs, so dog food will be supplied to you. Your dog's veterinary needs will be taken care of before you receive the dog. ADAI will assume responsibility for any vet bills during the foster period, but you will need to arrange the appointment with one of our program veterinarians at Perrysburg Animal Care.

Q: Will my dog be spayed/neutered?
A. Yes!

Q: How much training will my dog have before I receive it?
A. Each dog has been through a 2-to-4 week evaluation at our Education and Training Center. During this time, general suitability for our program will be determined. Our staff will spend some time evaluating the trainability of each dog by introducing it to some basic obedience commands. During his foster home training he will learn basic obedience, house manners, experience public situation exposure and socialization. Some volunteers also teach their trainees some of the advanced service dog functions under the supervision of an ADAI staff trainer. After the Foster Home Curriculum has been successfully completed, the dog returns to the ADAI's facility to complete its training.

Training FAQ

Q: What training do clients receive?
A. Once the dog is trained for their specific needs, clients are required to attend training classes at our Education and Training Center in Sylvania, Ohio (Northwest Ohio). Prior to attending class they may be required to complete some reading and testing about dog behavior and pre-training information. They will be advised a month in advance of the date of the scheduled training class. The class generally last ten days depending on the type of assistance dog. If the consumer and their dog graduate together, they can leave together as a team. However, training does not stop there. The consumer and their new assistance dog will be on probation for the next 90 days during the transition.

Q: Where will consumers stay with their dogs during client training classes?
A. If they live outside a daily driving distance to our facility, they will stay at a hotel near the training center at their cost.

Q: Who will pay for expenses during the training class?
A. Consumers are responsible for all travel expenses, the majority of their meals, their lodging and personal care during their training period. Many of our recipients conduct fundraisers to help with these expenses and donate any extra proceeds to our program.

Q: What's done during training?
A. Consumers come to the ADAI training facility each day, where they learn their dog's commands and functions and begin the bonding process with their new dog. The training program consists of formal class lectures, formal training, and practice sessions at the center for both consumers and dogs. Community outings to local supermarkets, restaurants, shopping malls, etc. will also be included to complete the training.

Q: Where do the dogs stay during the training class?
A. After the first two or three days of training class, the dogs will begin spending all of their time with their respective partners, returning to their hotels with them in the evening, having breakfast with them in the morning, etc. During that time, consumers will begin the responsibilities for exercising, feeding, and grooming of their dog.

Q: Does everyone who comes to training class take home a dog?
A. No. The decision on how each consumer is practicing with their dog as a viable team is monitored by an ADAI staff member daily. The final decision on each consumer's ability to return home with their dog will depend on their successful graduation of the program. ADAI staff members will make that final decision.

Q: Once consumers go home with their dog, is the training complete?
A. No. They receive a temporary access tag during their 3-month probationary period. Each dog is trained to ADAI'S required commands. Consumers will need to incorporate these into their daily routine to continue daily training with their dog in their home and in the community. During the probationary period, consumers are encouraged to communicate as often as necessary with an ADAI staff trainer to review any problems they might be experiencing. Before they receive final certification and ownership of their assistance dog, an ADAI staff member will visit each applicant to evaluate their connection with the dog at their home and in public to determine their eligibility for team certification.

Q; How is ADAI funded?
A. ADAI relies on monies from individuals, corporations, civic groups and grants.  Although clients are not required to participate in fundraising activities in order to receive a dog, funding for future work simply will not be available without our applicants and consumers taking an active role in fundraising.

Applicant FAQ

Q. Who is Eligible for an ADAI Dog?
A. Assistance Dogs for Achieving Independence pairs dogs with children and adults who have mobility-impaired disabilities or special needs. Individuals who wish to apply for a service dog must be at least 12 years of age. Individuals who wish to apply for a special needs therapy dog must be at least 5 years of age. Applicants must live within a 250-mile radius of Northwest Ohio.

Q. How Do I Apply for an Assistance Dogs?
A. If you meet the eligibility requirements, fill out the on-line questionaire or contact ADAI at 419-885-5733 for an Application Packet. Upon receipt, you will be required to provide written information about you, a medical reference form, and a personal reference form. You will need to send the completed application forms and a $50 non-refundable application fee to ADAI. A staff member from ADAI will contact you for a phone interview after we have received your application. If you qualify, an interview will be scheduled with our Client Services Director. The interview will be videotaped and reviewed by our Training staff for approval. If you are approved, you will be placed on our waiting list for an assistance dog.

Q. How Does ADAI Choose a Dog for Me?
A. ADAI chooses dogs for each consumer based on your application and personal interview. ADAI primarily uses Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and mixes thereof.

Q. How Long is the Waiting Period?
A. Currently, the average wait for a dog is 12 to 18 months. The waiting list is necessary to allow ADAI to place the right dog with the right consumer based on the dog's strengths and the consumers needs and environment.

Q. What is the Cost?
A. The only fees required by ADAI are the application and equipment fees. These fees help to offset the travel expenses for home interviews, paperwork, and supplies provided once the dog is placed with a consumer.