FAQs

Where does Pits for Patriots get their dogs?

Pits for Patriots uses ONLY rescued dogs from Chicagoland based rescues and shelters.

 

Why does Pits for Patriots only use rescued dogs?

Pits for Patriots uses ONLY rescued dogs, primarily pit bulls, to reduce the shelter population and euthanasia rates for a breed over represented in shelters and animal control facilities in the Chicago area.

 

Why doesn’t Pits for Patriots rescue dogs from other states?

Pits for Patriots only uses rescue dogs from the Chicagoland area because service dogs must be of an exceptional temperament for the work that we require of them. Rigorous testing must be completed by Pits for Patriots staff and funding does not allow us to travel long distances for this task. There are thousands of pit bulls euthanized each day within the Chicago area and we believe we need to make a difference in our own community before expanding to other states.

 

Why won’t Pits for Patriots use “breeder” pups?

Pit bulls are currently the most bred dog in America. Because of this and the lack of regard for these dogs, 4,000 pit bull type dogs are euthanized a day in this country, totaling over 1.5 Million pit bulls a year. The pit bull breed and mixes are the most abandoned, abused and fought dog in our country. Only 1 out of every 600 pit bulls makes it out of the shelters alive. They are the least likely to be adopted due to prejudice, breed bans, housing bans and BSL Laws.

Pit bulls and pit bull mixes average 65% of shelter intakes nationally and about 75% of municipal shelters euthanize pit bulls immediately upon intake, without them ever having any chance at adoption or rescue. Those that are offered for adoption are usually the first chosen for euthanasia when overcrowding forces the shelter’s hand and decisions have to be made. Therefore Pits for Patriots does not accept puppies “donated” from breeders accidental or otherwise. As advocates for the breed we will not in any way shape or form support those that irresponsibly continue to put the breed that we fight for on a daily basis at risk. Please be part of the solution and spay and neuter your dogs.

 

What types of service dogs does Pits for Patriots train?

Pits for Patriots trains service dogs to assist with physical disabilities. A service dog can be trained to open and close doors, turn on/off lights, retrieve items, help with putting on and taking off clothes and aid in balance and mobility.

Service dogs for those with PTSD are taught to provide a friendly barrier in crowds, retrieve phones for emergency situations, retrieve medications, get help, apply calming pressure and provide tactile stimulation for overload situations.

Skilled companions dogs are trained in service dog tasks however, they are not able to perform in public for one reason or another. This does not limit the dog from performing tasks for the recipient in the home environment.

Therapy dogs are of service to those in hospitals, VA and nursing home institutions.

Companion dogs provide stress and anxiety relief to those veterans and first responders not in need of a service dog. Studies show cortisol, a hormone associated with stress, is lowered and serotonin, a chemical associated with well-being, is increased by having a canine companion. A companion dog also helps in dealing with depression. A canine companion loves unconditionally and will listen for as long as a person wants to talk. Walking, grooming, feeding and playing with a companion dog removes the focus from one’s troubles and increases self- esteem as well as giving the handler a sense of purpose. Companion dogs provide a gateway to conversation with others.   For those veterans and first responders that find it difficult to talk with others, simply walking your dog will invite conversation from other dog guardians. The focus usually remains on the dog and gives the veteran or first responder the ability to have dialogue on subject matters not pertaining to them.

 

What does it cost to receive a Pits for Patriots service dog?

A veteran or first responder receives their Pits for Patriots service dog at no charge. The only costs to the recipient are the application fees, which covers the background check, plus the costs of housing, transportation and meals if they have to travel to the Chicagoland area during the training period. All Pits for Patriots dogs are spayed and neutered, up to date on shots and micro chipped. Upon graduation of the team, the recipient will be responsible for all food, veterinary, heartworm and tick preventative care and all care costs for their Pits for Patriots service dog.

 

Who funds the Pits for Patriots dogs?

The cost to train one service dog is approximately $10,000 – $15,000. Funding for Pits for Patriots service dogs comes primarily from individual donors, events, ongoing fundraisers, grants and corporate sponsorships. To donate or sponsor a dog please see “Ways to Help” on the home page.

 

What are the requirements to receive a Pits for Patriots service dog?

Coming Soon.

 

How do I apply for a Pits for Patriots service dog?

To apply for a Pits for Patriots service dog, fill out a service dog application. Your application will be reviewed by staff to determine if Pits for Patriots can provide the necessary services you require.   Once your application is reviewed you will be contacted by Pits for Patriots staff to schedule an interview to evaluate your particular needs, lifestyle and home environment. If you are accepted into our program we will begin to evaluate which dog will be the correct fit. Please note: completion of the application does not guarantee acceptance into the program.

 

What are the responsibilities of a Pits for Patriots service dog recipient?

Each candidate must successfully complete a 4-8 weeks of classroom/training work with Pits for Patriots trainers and staff to prepare the recipient and dog to work as a successful team. Each candidate upon graduation is responsible for the proper care, feeding, housing and medical needs of his/her dog. The dog must be used in the working capacity for which it was trained. Follow up interviews, visits and re-certifications are mandatory.

 

How do I adopt an honorably discharged Pits for Patriots dog?

Honorably discharged Pits for Patriots dogs are available for adoption by veterans, first responders and civilians within a 3 hour radius of Chicago. Preference is given to veterans and first responders. All potential adopters must fill out an application, agree to a home visit and commit to a minimum 6 weeks of training (depends on dog and adopter) prior to adoption.

 

Why must I complete training before receiving my honorably discharged companion dog?

We are committed to setting all of our dogs up for success and we have found that requiring training prior to adoption enables us to gauge the proper fit, as well as, allows both dog and guardian to forge a bond.   Many of our dogs have been bounced around repeatedly and we want our placement of them to be the home they will spend the rest of their lives in.

 

Can you train my pit bull to be a service dog?

We currently do not train owner dogs. Unfortunately, we are unaware of any organizations that train owner dogs however; contacting your local trainers may provide assistance.