FAQsRead Our Frequently Asked Questions
Where are you located?
Big Paws Canine has three locations across the country: Southern California, Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Any of our locations can be called Toll Free at 844-Big-Paws (844-244-7297). Visit our Contact page for address and phone information.
How much does it cost to get a dog or have my dog trained?
Big Paws Canine is specifically geared to assist our Veterans and First Responders. You will be charged a $1.00 fee for receiving one of our Service Dogs as well as $1.00 per month membership dues for continued training throughout the life of the dog. Big Paws Canine participates in fundraiser and community outreach to get our funding to be able to operate entirely upon donations, sponsorships and grants. Our Veterans and First Responders have already dedicated their lives to our country and written a blank check to do so. They should not be charged for a Service Dog to help them with the disabilities they received while defending our country.
The approximate Minimum Cost of a Service Dog is:
Initial Series of Puppy Vaccinations
Kennel for Crate Training
Initial Leash and Harness
Additional Leash and Harness after growth spurt
Adoption Fee/Donation to Shelter (if applicable)
Nylabone Chew Toys (at least 2 toys, maybe more)
Food for 12 months ($40 per month for 1 bag)
Annual Well Puppy Visits to the Vet
Local License & Registration Fees
Periodic Grooming as needed
Initial 6 week
Service Dog Task Training
How do I get a Service Dog or can you train my dog?
Big Paws Canine requires that an application be completed before any conversations can take place about a Service Dog. This is where we learn more about you to determine how or if we can assist with training a Service Dog to help with your disabilities. If you have your own dog, a Big Paws Canine Trainer will meet with you to perform an assessment to determine if your dog has the qualities, personality and strength to become a Service Dog. But it all begins with the submission of an application.
I submitted my application. What’s next?
Big Paws Canine thanks you for taking the time to read through the introductory letter and complete the application. We realize that it is not a quick process, but neither is that of training you and a Service Dog. As you know, we are operated entirely by non-paid volunteers. Once you have submitted an application, one of those volunteers will contact you, usually within the next calendar month. They will review your application, answer any questions and may even ask for clarification. They will then review this information with the local Trainers to determine if we can proceed forward with matching you up with a dog that will fit your lifestyle and help with your disabilities. They will be in contact with you to set up an interview with a local Trainer and come out to maybe observe a training session or attend an event or other public networking. This will help you to observe what our expectations are of you. We will not simply turn over a dog to you. We expect a commitment from you to yourself and that dog to attend frequent training sessions, attend fundraising events, participate in community outreach, and get to know the other Veterans and First Responder Members. We commit to training and support over the life of the Service Dog, so it is not a quick process.
I have a dog that I would like to donate to Big Paws Canine. Do you take rescues or donations?
Big Paws Canine would love to rescue every pup, but unfortunately there are several reasons why we cannot take in every donation. First, Service Dogs work long hours and are required to pull or support heavy loads. For this reason, we prefer to know the blood line of the dog to ensure the dog will not be pre-disposed to certain medical conditions. As we rely on donations of funds, these medical bills can be excessive for chronic illnesses. Secondly, Big Paws Canine Volunteers spend an incredible amount of time with our Veterans and First Responders before we select a dog that will assist with their particular needs. It is much easier to find a dog for a person rather than find a person for the dog. We have used rescues and shelters in the past as need permits, but we prefer dog from a select number of breeders.