Do you think I should send my rescue to be a service dog?


Jun 20, 2010
I have a previous post about this Golden Retreiver that I rescued from the shelter about 5-6 weeks ago. We have been thru a lot as far as getting her back to health. When I rescued her I had no intentions of keeping her, I was just a foster home until I found the right home for her. She was going to be euthanized at our kill shelter and couldn't let that happen. I took her to my vet last week for her rabies shot and my vet mentioned that she would be an excellent candiate for the service dog program that a local prison has. The inmates are paired with the dogs and trained until they are adopted to a person that needs a service dog. The vet told me they receive excellent vet care and food and are quite happy in the program. So, I called.. have an appointment tomorrow for her evaluation.. and I'm having 2nd thoughts. Why you ask? because I've gotten attached to this dog and she to me. She is my shadow.. Anyone who has ever saved a dog knows what I'm saying when you see them change from you are just another human, to you're my mom. I have promised her that she will never be abandoned again, or locked in a kennel and how can I keep that promise if I give her up? It's one thing to know the home and the family that she is going to, but I will just be handing her over to this program. What if she fails the program? What do you think? What would you do if you were me? Oh, and I went back to the shelter today (I should stay away from there) and there is a German Shepherd that failed the police training because he was too aggressive and wouldn't release a bite. At the kill shelter... Could that happen to her if it turns out she doesn't want to be a service dog?

True Grit

9 Years
May 2, 2010
Orono, Minnesota
My Coop
My Coop
Oh boy, that is so hard...If you do decide to do it maybe they would let you know when your golden is adopted and you could keep in touch with the owner. I have no idea what their policy is. BTW that sounds weird about the GSD service guy being sent to a shelter for being too aggressive, or do the police just send them there to be euthanized? I think though that once you let your dog go you can't definitely count on knowing her destiny..


9 Years
Jul 14, 2010
It may be that the German Shepherd had bitten someone. Sometimes that requires an observation period OR testing the dog for rabies (requires euthanizing the dog). It's probably cheaper for a government entity to just put the dog at the shelter for the duration of the observation period. Just a possibility...


13 Years
Jan 15, 2007
I would say definitely have her evaluated. If she is a good fit, that is a great life for a dog. Service dogs do not come cheap, so I don't think you would have to worry too much about something bad happening to her. Also, if she can go into the program, you can help another dog! If she isn't a good fit for the program, then of course you can think about keeping her for yourself, but she would definitely make someone else very happy if she became a service dog. When you have her evaluated just ensure that they understand that if, for whatever reason, she cannot finish the program, that she will be returned to you.

Edit to add: Also, I know it is hard to give up a foster dog, but just remind yourself of the next dog you can help, and now you have helped her become a great dog for someone to enjoy. We had a foster for many months and I definitely would have kept him, but we kept him up for adoption, and eventually the perfect match came along.
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