Service dogs are quality task-oriented dogs that help provide safety and independence to individuals facing various medical issues. The Miracle Service Dog Program provided by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® at Freeman will allow children in need that are Freeman referred, from birth to 21 years of age, and their families the opportunity to improve their quality of life by having a service dog. These service dogs are individually trained to meet the specific needs of the child and their condition. A service dog can be trained to respond and alert to seizures, redirect repetitive behaviors, interrupt self-harm, locate a wandering child and countless other tasks. The Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals team at Freeman is awarding up to two service dogs per year to qualifying children and their families to help meet the overwhelming need in the community.
How does the Service Dog Program work?
- With available funding we are able to award up to two service dogs per year to eligible families that have completed an application and provided the following documentation:
- A prescription from a Freeman physician
- A medical letter of necessity
- An insurance denial of assistance letter
- Two reference forms
- Proof of residency
How does the application process work?
- Once you have provided Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals with the required paperwork, your application along with other completed applications will be pending the selection/denial process. The service dog award cycle is as follows:
- Applications accepted: November 1st- March 1st
- Selection process: March 1st- 30th
- Award Date: April 1st
- Applications accepted: May 1st- September 1st
- Selection process: September 1st- 30th
- Award date: October 1st
How is the selection determined?
- A selection panel will meet each award cycle to determine the greatest need from available applications.
What services can a service dog provide?
- Service dogs can be trained in autism, psychiatric, mobility assistance, hearing problems, diabetes and seizure response assistance.
Are service dogs allowed in my child’s public school?
- Each school district has their own rules in regards to service dogs in the classrooms. Ensuring the dog will be allowed in your child’s school is your responsibility.
Are hypoallergenic dogs available?
- Yes. Full size poodles and goldendoodles are available if a family needs a hypoallergenic option.
Where are the service dogs trained?
- Each award cycle, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals will select a certified individual or organization to train each service dog to meet the specific needs of the child.
Will my family get to choose our dog breed?
- After the family has been selected by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, several face-to-face meetings will occur to determine the best fit for the child’s specific needs. Selections, pairing of child/service dog breeds and overall training package will be finalized throughout this process. The trainer will take your request into consideration but cannot guarantee placement of your desired breed.
What is total cost to family?
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals awards the dog and all of his initial training to the families. Although the costs of the service dog and the initial training is provided by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, any additional training (to learn a new set of skills), yearly recertification, veterinary bills, grooming needs and feeding expenses will be the family’s responsibility.
For more information, please call 417.347.3793.