In recent years, the demand for service dogs has shot up as our canine friends have demonstrated their aptitude for helping people with a growing range of disabilities.
It can take almost two years to train a service dog and up to 70% of dogs don’t have what it takes to complete a full program. That’s why service organizations charge up to $40,000 for a fully trained service dog — a fee that health insurance doesn’t cover. With the social media scrum for fundraising, the prices rise even more.
To make matters worse, the service dog industry is unregulated and there’s no certification process for dogs. So consumers may end up paying exorbitant prices for poorly trained dogs, with little to no recourse.
Right now, it’s tough to see an end to this Wild West market, so buyer, beware.