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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

General Information

There are many ways to support our cause, by becoming a foster family, volunteering and donating. Another very simple way to help us is to promote our cause! If you would like to contact us for a project you can do it at info@asista.ca.

All dogs receive the same basic education training. Thereafter, they will receive specialized and tailored training according to the needs related to the mental health condition of the beneficiary with whom they will be paired. Frequent follow-up allows adjustments to be made as needed.

The foundation works with positive reinforcement in order to obtain the desired results, while respecting an education framework inspired by veterinarian behaviourists.

Typically, our dogs come from shelters or rescues and are generally large breeds. For safety reasons, we do not train any dog ​​that already belong to someone or is not chosen directly by the foundation. We rely on specific qualities, tests and professional based recommendations. If the dog does not meet specific qualities at the end of the foster family period, they will be disqualified from the program.

In addition to working with dogs from shelters or rescues, the Asista Foundation offers service dogs totally free of charge; We only ask to cover the cost of the harness. We do not ask for a mandatory donation in exchange. In addition, being located at the largest veterinary center in Canada, we have access to a wide variety of expertise that allow us to meet high standards and guidelines.

Becoming a future beneficiary:

The first thing to do is to consult a doctor who can diagnose your condition. Subsequently, you will have to complete and send us our form that can be found under the Program tab. 

For logistical and resource reasons, we do not offer any application tracking. We receive about 20 applications a day and place about 30 in a year. The members of our selection committee meet on a monthly basis to evaluate the applications in order to clearly define the needs of each. If a “match” seems possible with a dog, we will contact the person at this time to continue the selection process.

Due to the very high volume of application and available resources, we only contact the people chosen to continue the process, in a timely manner. However, not receiving a call right after sending the app does not mean that you are being denied.

You can send an email to info@asista.ca specifying the nature of the email as well as the person concerned.

Asista asks that the beneficiary helps with fundraising efforts. The beneficiary, however, undertakes to cover future veterinary fees, maintenance and the purchase of food. Government programs are available to some users and the foundation might request your eligibility.

There is no set guideline, however the recipient must be able to take care of the dog by offering a rhythm and a respectable quality of life. The same condition is imposed on the level of the physical condition.

All Asista service dogs will have the right to follow you in public places. The harnesses of the foundation and the official letter handed over will serve as a reference when needed.

Becoming a Foster Family

A foster family will host and educate a service dog in training for a period of 6 months to 1 year. The dog must not be left alone more than 4 hours a day. The foster family must make a commitment to come to the premises of the foundation located in Laval for behavioral sessions, medical visits and assessments.

Asista covers all veterinary fees, provides basic accessories (bowls, cage, necklace, leash, toys) as well as food throughout the accommodation.

Being a service dog in training, it is essential that the dog can be desensitized to different environments. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you bring the dog to as many public places as possible. An official letter is given so that you can bring the service dog in training with you in public institutions.