Estimate of Expenses

Because we don’t charge a fee for our service dogs, we rely on donations to make our work possible. SDV has many expenses associated with the training and placement of each dog. We ask our clients who receive a dog to help those still on the waiting list by Paying It Forward (see below). Other expenses to consider include:

Application Fee: $100 (non-refundable), payable when submitting completed application

Fenced Yard expense: A fenced yard is a requirement for receiving a dog from SDV. More information will be provided during the interview process. This expense is the responsibility of the client and would depend on various factors such as materials, labor and size. Electric fences are not acceptable.

Transfer Camp fee: $1000 due the first day of Transfer Camp and non-refundable; a portion of this fee is used to buy supplies for the client’s “take home kit” when they leave SDV with their dog.

Transfer Camp accommodations & meals: costs depends on which hotel you stay at in Charlottesville during the two week transfer camp; you’re also responsible for covering the costs of all meals during your stay.

After Graduation: On average, it costs $2,100 per year to care for a Service Dog, including:

  • Dog food: approximately $50/month or $600/year; we will recommend suitable, premium dog food using human grade ingredients that provide optimal nutrition for a working dog.
  • Monthly heartworm, tick and flea preventatives: $400/year
  • Regular vet care: Your vet may offer a discount for a Service Dog. We estimate the cost of vet care to be approximately $200/year for well dog maintenance. This will include a well dog check-up, annual heartworm check, immunizations as needed, and other routine care.
  • Replacement equipment: including, but not limited to packs, leashes, collars, and bowls. SDV can provide these items to you at cost. Budget: $25/year.
  • Toys and treats: approximately $150/year.
  • Insurance –approximately $55/month or $660/year

Pay-It-Forward Campaign: We have developed a framework for clients who receive dogs from us to “pay-it-forward” by becoming ambassadors for Service Dogs of Virginia. The hope is that a client who’s received a dog from us will, in turn, want to help the next person on the waiting list by raising funds to help us help more people in need. Ways to pay-it-forward might include setting up an online fundraising page or social media site, speaking to civic groups in your community on behalf of SDV or attending events hosted by us to help exemplify the work we do. Strategies will be discussed with each prospective client during initial interviews and during Transfer Camp.