Our programs

PTSD Service Dogs

Asista's PTSD service dog division was founded late 2012 where we place such dogs with both veterans, first responders, children and adults.

Autism Service Dogs

After years of known research, Asista launched its program to support children with autism and their families.

Specialty Service Dogs

Service dogs give individuals with impairments a greater autonomy. Our specialty service dogs help people with severe generalized anxiety disorder. The candidate is evaluated on a case by case basis.

Facility Service Dogs

A trained Facility Dog works with a specialized handler in their chosen field, building on canine – human partnerships. The Facility Dog has a set of skills and tasks aiding in intervention for their chosen professional practice.

General information

We often receive numerous requests for the proper definitions of a service dog. Before completing your application, be sure that you and your doctor agree towards the dog you need. We do not provide therapy dogs nor emotional support dogs.

Therapy dog
Their responsibility is to provide psychological or physiological therapy to individuals other than their handler who are often their owners. They usually visit several institutions such as hospitals, schools, health centers, etc. Unlike service dogs, therapy dogs are more encouraged to socialize and interact with a variety of people while on duty. Owners or handlers of therapy dogs do not have the same rights as service dogs in places where dogs are not allowed.

Emotional support dog
The dog’s primary function is to provide emotional support by accompanying his handler. An emotional support dog can benefit a person psychologically, with a disability or not. The accompaniment and the affection can be the therapy to counter certain conditions such as depression or anxiety.

Service dog

Service dogs receive much more training. By working in a team with their beneficiary, they can achieve a level of security and independence that their beneficiary would otherwise be deprived of. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects a service dog from walking in public places. During their training, the Asista Foundation aims for the following objectives for service dogs, thus differentiating them from other roles:

  • High adaptability to different places, people and situations;

  • Taste and habit of following the beneficiary in daily activities;

  • Perform unique and specific tasks related to the condition of the beneficiary in order to

    improve his well-being through everyday life;

  • Periods reserved for their well-being in order to keep a balance allowing them to

    accomplish their work. These periods include: physical activity, games, rest, etc.

The application process

Step 1: Consult your medical team

Consult with your medical team and evaluate the needs and see if eventually a service dog will fit into your long term treatment plan.

Step 2: Evaluation of your application

Should your application be retained (only those selected will be contacted) a member will reach out to you to discuss a service dog and your needs.

Step 3: Interview

Interview / Assessment for the need of a service dog is then done (in person or phone).

Step 4: Medical Assessment

The next step is our team reaching out to your medical team to determine whether a service animal is suitable for your needs professionally.

Step 5: Decision

If accepted, the training team develops the training plan and the transition plan – the process to match the handler and service dog, this process can take up to 6 months.

Step 6: Acceptance

The handler then needs to come to our training centre to train with them. We then develop a training support plan to get the team ready for final certification and testing (generally takes six months of the team working together prior to final testing and certification.