Veteran eligibility criteria is in place to ensure the safety of the assistance dog and the success of the Veteran/dog team. CTM does not discriminate on the basis of sex, age, race, color, national origin, citizenship status, creed, religious affiliation, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, victims of domestic violence or the presence of a medical condition or disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, or any other group protected by law.
It is important to consider whether the attention that an assistance dog brings in public is an acceptable outcome of having the dog. Our assistance dogs draw quite a bit of attention when in the community. If this attention would not be helpful for you, then an assistance dog may not be desirable. Although it is not our primary mission to place Emotional Support Animals or skilled companions, we do on occasion have dogs that are released from the assistance dog program for medical or temperament reasons. A Released Dog Application is available upon request.
In addition to these requirements, CTM will conduct an assessment of your suitability to provide a safe and stable home environment for a service dog. Although we strongly believe assistance dogs can be extremely beneficial for Veterans with PTSD, they are not a substitute for continued behavioral health treatment.
Applicants who have been hospitalized for mental health reasons within the last 6 months, carry a diagnosis of psychosis, delusions, dementia, or have active alcohol/substance dependence are not eligible to be paired with a service dog through CTM. Additionally, active suicidal ideation, homicidal ideation, history of aggressive or violent behaviors, or cognitive disabilities that would preclude safety of the assistance dog are also considered disqualifying.
If you have reviewed the eligibility criteria and have questions regarding eligibility, the pairing process and commitment, or general CTM information, click below to contact us.
If you do not meet the criteria but are still interested in pursuing an assistance dog, please visit the website for Assistance Dogs International to find another organization that may be appropriate for your area and your needs.
Please note that if you are currently ineligible (i.e., not in treatment, haven’t lived in the same residence for 6 months, etc.), you may become eligible if your circumstances change. We welcome you to reapply at that time.