Home Apply for an Assistance Dog Eligibility Requirements


Are you eligible to apply for an assistance dog with BRAD? Each applicant must meet the following criteria to be considered eligible to apply for an assistance dog with BRAD.



  • First and foremost, it’s very important that you like dogs. Your assistance dog will be with you every day for many years. You must want a dog – don’t apply just because someone told you to!
  • You must be actively pursuing the goal of independent living (age appropriate).
  • You must not have a disability that will be adversely affected by the use of a dog.
  • You must be financially able to afford to care for and maintain a dog.
  • You must be likely to be able to work with a dog for several years.
  • You must have a supportive family and/or attendant/support team/friends.
  • You must be capable of age-appropriate safety decisions.
  • You must have the mental capacity to meet the dogs’ non-physical needs such as love, affection, and respect.
  • You must have a physical or medical disability.
  • You must have a permanent place to live.
  • You must be emotionally stable, recognizing the need to take medications if necessary. Failure to comply is reason for Blue Ridge Assistance Dogs to confiscate the dog.
  • You must be able and committed to ensuring humane treatment of the dog.
  • You must not have a history of abusive behavior or animal abuse and no immediate family members living in the household with a history of abusive behavior or animal abuse.
  • You must not be addicted to drugs or alcohol or indulge in overuse of drugs or alcohol; this includes family members.
  • You must have the dog live with you in your home.
  • You must undergo training instruction in order to competently manage, work with and care for the dog.
  • Due to follow up and certification requirements, we are currently accepting clients that live Virginia, Maryland or DC. We will make exceptions on a case by case basis.

It is the policy and practice of Blue Ridge Assistance Dogs to select applicants and train clients for the programs without regard to race, culture, religion, age, gender, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, veteran’s status, and other categories protected by law. The intent is to serve a culturally diverse clientele consistent with all applicable laws. The selection process is subject to constant review to assure that eligibility guidelines and methods of selection contribute to BRAD’s goals in this area.