Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of dogs does CST use? 


Our program benefits the community as a whole in that a large percentage of our dogs come from stray animal facilities; others are donated by individuals or are donated as puppies from breeders and raised in foster homes. 


Who can get a CST service dog? 


To be a service dog applicant, a person must have a disability that seriously impairs their activities of daily living and can demonstrate that a service dog will enhance their independence or raise their quality of life. 


Also eligible are professionals working for organizations that provide physical or mental health care to clients who will benefit from interaction with a facility dog. 


CST places dogs with people who need dogs for


  • Seizure/ alert

  • Diabetic alert

  • Allergen Detection

  • Spinal cord injuries

  • CP, MS, or MD

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Hearing limitations

  • PTSD/Anxiety

  • Adults or children with Autism

  • Psychiatric Disabilities

  • Need for a dog to respond to medical emergencies


How long is the application process?

Once CST receives the completed application you could receive a cost proposal within days.


How long is the waiting list to get a dog?


Here at CST we do not believe in a first-come-first-serve waiting list archetype.  We instead strive to 
match applicants with the best dog for their unique situation and needs as quickly as possible.  Some 
applicants may receive a dog in as little as 2 months while others may wait as much as 18 months.  The 
average wait varies, and we strive to do the best we can to safely and quickly train and fit an individual 
with their partnering service dog.


How much does a service dog cost? 


Initially there is a $25 non-refundable application fee.  After paperwork and documents are exchanged 
and the applicant is accepted into the program for their service dog, the applicants then pay a 
placement fee before receiving the dog.  We ask for half down during which we find the right dog and 
train it, then the other half is paid when the dog is placed and the client approves of the training and personality


The placement fee for a service dog ranges from $4000 to $12,000 for a fully trained dog.  The cost is priced by the time, number of tasks, and difficulty of the tasts. Althought the applicant ultimately is responsible for the payment, CST works to assist the applicant by providing information about funding sources and strategies as well as through our own fund raising.


Holy Cow! Up to $12,000 for a service dog? How does this work out? 


When one looks at the hundreds of hours spent training, enviormental socialization at resturarants businesses theater sports events' church etc., feeding, medical evaluations, and then the additional time spent training the dog to tasks personalized to the disabled persons disability, the price becomes understandable.  Service Dogs last usually 6-8 years and can reduce attendant care hours.

The moment a person with a disability finally takes the leash and proceeds to take command of their 
dog and, in effect, take command of their own life the realization of the truest form of freedom begins; 
that a service dog, paired with their person, give 24/7 security and unconditional love. The support that 
the dog gives makes tangible, that such a dog is in fact, priceless.


How will I learn to work with my service dog?


When a suitable canine Service Dog is located and specialty trained, the applicant participates in a 
mandatory Team Training designed to give the applicant the necessary skills and knowledge to handle 
and care for his/her dog. Team Training may be conducted on a one-on-one or group bases. 
Determined by CST and the individual on a case by case basis.


Where is the Team Training Held?


Team training sessions are held in Independence Missouri.  One-on-one training 
sessions can however take place in the applicant's home, school and/or work environment determined on a case by case basis. 


What happens if I have a problem with my service dog or feel we are not a good fit after all?


CST strives to exceed expectations at training and fitting the right dog to the right person.  We will 
do everything we can to make sure you and your dog are the right fit with many update calls and emails 
from us to you to see how your bonding process is going.  BUT if in the event that you feel your dog is 
not the right fit for you we will gladly take the dog back at no cost to you and promptly begin finding you 
a new dog that we feel will fit you better after reevaluating your given situation.


What tasks are CST dog NOT trained to do?


We do not train dogs to respond aggressively in any way or to provide personal protection as this would potentially be a 
liability as well as hamper medical help to the disabled person. The ADA has made it clear Service dogs can not be trained in protection.