Many people could benefit from a service dog, but they’re not sure how to go about getting one.
Applying for a service dog (and keeping up with training once you bring them home) takes time, research, effort, and patience.
We know that others’ independence, safety, and stability depend on having a well-trained service dog — as well as resources that let them weigh their options before deciding to commit to a dog.
Below are a few frequently asked questions (FAQs) to help you get started.
Assistance Dogs International (ADI) is a worldwide group of nonprofits (like ICAN) that train and place assistance dogs with individuals who have disabilities. ICAN is an ADI Accredited Member program, and the ADI regularly audits our organization to ensure we're meeting industry standards.
For more information about ADI, please visit assistancedogsinternational.org.
Most of our dogs are purebred Labradors, Golden Retrievers, or a cross between the two. ICAN is a member of the ABC Breeding Cooperative, along with other ADI-accredited service dog organizations.
Please visit our “How We Train” page for this information.
At this time, we are only partnering dogs with veterans in which mobility assistance is their primary need and PTSD assistance is secondary.
We’re happy to direct you to Assistance Dogs International (ADI) and help you find an organization that places service dogs for those living with PTSD, anxiety, and/or depression. You can visit assistancedogsinternational.org for more information.
No, but we can guide you to Assistance Dogs International (ADI), since other accredited members place this type of dog. Please visit assistancedogsinternational.org and click on Member Search to learn more.
This is a common misconception, but there’s actually no such thing as an accredited or licensed service dog. There are also businesses online that tell people they can get an accredited license, card, and vest for their dog — but this is breaking the law.
Interested in applying for a service dog?
We've provided answers to the most frequently asked questions to help you understand the process.
You must live in Indiana to be eligible for an ICAN service dog. If you live out-of-state but think you may qualify for a service dog, please visit assistancedogsinternational.org on click on Member Search for more information.
We require a non-refundable $75 application fee when you submit your application, as well as a $2,500 placement fee once we match you with a dog. We also highly recommend pet insurance for your service dog.
Any other costs associated with attending interviews and the mandatory Team Training are your responsibility. These include transportation to our Zionsville facility, your hotel, meals outside of training hours, and attendant care (if necessary).
The wait time from application to being matched with a service dog can be one to three years; those who apply for an autism assistance dog might wait three to five years. These times are based on your needs, the number of clients on our waitlist, and the availability of the dog that’s right for you.
To learn more about these wait times, please click here.
We’re sorry, but we cannot train your dog or take your litter. Our program uses a comprehensive approach, where we select puppies based on characteristics that we’ve found will lead to their success as a service dog. Through our application process, we match individuals with disabilities to a trained dog that is best suited for their needs.
Yes. We train dogs to assist with the detection and notification of severe changes in blood sugar levels. Applicants must be 18 years or older, living within 50 miles of Indianapolis, Indiana, and not living with another pup to apply for a diabetic alert dog. Please visit this page for more information.
The decision for a person, family, or facility to bring a service dog into their lives requires a serious, long-term commitment. While our mission is to provide as many people as possible with service dogs, we also want to make sure that we place the dogs in healthy, safe environments — and that their training continues after the dog leaves our care.
To learn more about service dog eligibility and application, please click here.
We currently don’t offer a scholarship program to offset the cost of a service dog. Because the average annual cost to own a dog runs from $1,000 to $1,200, we need to ensure that our clients can provide for the dog after they take them home. This includes medicine, vet visits, healthy food, toys, bedding, and so on.
However, applicants can begin making payments in advance of receiving a dog so they can reduce the final amount due at the time of placement.
Great question! You can check out our blog post to learn about these types of assistance dogs and how they differ from each other.
- How We Train Our Dogs
- Types of Service Dogs
- The Difference Between Service, Therapy, & Emotional Support Dogs
- Do I qualify for an ICAN service dog?
- How to Apply for a Service Dog