K9s on The Front Line is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Portland, Maine. Our experienced team supplies fully trained PTSD service dogs at no cost to the recipient. Once we receive your completed application, and you have been accepted into our program, two pathways are offered:
- You already have a dog and would like it trained as your service K9:
Your dog is evaluated regarding temperament, drives, and sociability, and an informed decision whether to accept the dog into the program is made. Other options are explored should your dog not meet our inclusion criteria.
- You don’t have a dog:
An experienced staff member or trainer will speak extensively with you to discern as much information as possible about your lifestyle, needs, living situation, triggers, etc. Appropriate candidate dogs are then identified and the best possible choice selected with your input.
After you are paired with an appropriate service dog candidate, the two of you will then undergo 16 weeks of training through one of our contracted K9 group training classes. All our trainers are experienced police K9 handlers with the ultimate expertise in dog training. These classes are held once a week at varying locations, and you are required to keep a training log. We will give you the foundation in dog behavior and human-K9 interaction and focus on the tools and training you can apply in any setting down the road. You are expected to practice at home daily between weekly classes so that the course comprises a total of at least 120 training hours. Once fully trained, the service dog will have established the lasting bond and mutually beneficial relationship that will forever change both of your lives. We have a deep commitment to create a family of everyone who receives a service dog through our program. Our trainers are available for any follow-up you may feel is needed, and we encourage you to help others achieve the success you’ve experienced, and thus, sustain the program.