NSSD will not be accepting any applications until January 1, 2024.

You must be a Veteran or a First Responder with PTSD and/or TBI and/or MST, and you must reside in the San Diego, CA area to enter our program.

Program Timeline:

To begin the process, submit an application to obtain and train a service dog from NSSD or to train your own personal dog to become a service dog.

After receipt of full application:

Step 1: Within 30 days, applicant will be contacted by email to schedule their in-person interview
Step 2: NSSD Orientation will begin within 3-4 weeks after interview
Step 3: A home visit will occur within the first 30 days post interview
Step 4: Hands on Training will begin after completing orientation
Step 5: Pairing with a dog
Step 6: Public Access Test
Step 7: Certification Test
Step 8: Graduation

* If there is a waiting period, applicant will be followed up with on a monthly basis.


  • A non-refundable client application fee of $150 is required at the time of submitting an application. No fee for training and placement of service dog.
  • Service dog training is at no charge to Veterans or First Responders.
  • After the service dog is certified with the client, the client takes full responsibility for the well-being of the dog and all future dog-related expenses.
  • Transfer of ownership is one year after certification at the discretion of the Program Director.
  • Applicants are not required to raise funds to cover the cost of training and placement of a service dog.

Dogs suitable for NSSD training:

Owner Trained

Dogs suitable for NSSD training:

*Applicant must reside in the San Diego, California area to be eligible for our program.

**NSSD does not condone discrimination with regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability or veteran status in applicants, paid staff or volunteers. All applications will be considered equally.