Can Do Canines assistance dogs never fail. However, sometimes they do need a “career change.” Occasionally some of our dogs cannot complete training. In these cases, we help to find the dog a loving, permanent pet home.
Please read our frequently asked questions prior to applying for a career-changed dog.
Career-Changed Dog FAQs
Who is eligible to apply for a career-changed dog?
Individuals 18 or older who are residents of Minnesota or Wisconsin may apply for Can Do Canines career-changed dogs. Residents of other states will not be considered.
We ask that potential adoptive homes seriously consider the dog’s welfare and only proceed if they are committed to the adoption and to the dog. Can Do Canines expects individuals adopting a dog to provide a lifetime home for that animal.
Why are dogs “career changed?”
The majority of our dogs are career changed for medical reasons. While these reasons vary greatly, allergies, congenital issues and orthopedic concerns are the primary causes of career change. These concerns either interfere with the dog’s ability to work or the cost of care will be beyond what is reasonable for our average client to assume.
Other dogs are career changed for behavioral reasons. Commonly seen reasons include reactivity (barking at other dogs, people or events) or a lack of confidence. Some of our dogs just want to be a pet, and that’s okay!
How much do you charge for a career-changed dog?
We do not charge a fee to adopt our dogs, however we do request that a donation be made following adoption. The average donation amount is $300. This donation is non-refundable, even if the dog is returned to Can Do Canines, but it is tax deductible.
What is the process to adopt a career-changed dog?
After reviewing the FAQs, interested parties should complete the application. Once submitted, the application is reviewed by Can Do Canines staff. The applicant will be notified by email if the application is accepted.
Once accepted, the application will remain on file for one year. If you experience any changes to your situation following submission (new child, pet, etc.), please provide an updated application. If a dog meeting the applicant’s criteria becomes available, Can Do Canines staff will reach out. If the applicant is interested, we will then arrange a “meet and greet” between the applicant and the dog to determine fit.
Upon placement, the adopter will receive all information we have with regards to the dog, their health, temperament and habits.
There is no guarantee Can Do Canines will match an individual with a dog, or that applications are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Staff will carefully consider the available homes and make the best placement possible for the dog.
How long is the wait for a dog after I am accepted on the list?
Generally, our career-changed dogs are adopted by the volunteers who raised them. We also have a high success rate, which means that the number of available dogs to adopters is low. Most applicants wait an average of 12 months before a dog is matched to them.
Can I foster a career-changed dog prior to adoption to see if it’s a good fit?
No. While we appreciate wanting to test the fit of the dog in the home, we do not allow foster “trial periods.”
Are career-changed dogs fully trained assistance dogs?
Very few of the dogs available for adoption are fully trained. The majority of career-changed dogs are around the age of one year to 18 months. Most dogs are potty trained, crate trained, and have basic house manners. All dogs will have some degree of basic obedience training.
Because the dog’s training will most likely be incomplete, we highly recommend that the adopter enrolls in an obedience training class with the dog. This will also help the dog and new owner become acquainted and will help the transition for the dog and adopter.
Can I use a career-changed dog as my assistance dog or emotional support dog?
No. We do not permit the use of a career-changed or retired Can Do Canine as an assistance dog or ESA. Applications indicating a desire to use a dog in this way will be denied.
Can I do therapy work with my career-changed dog?
Maybe! It will depend on the reason for career change. Many of our career-changed dogs would enjoy therapy work, however others will not. Please note it in the application if this is a desired activity, but be aware that requesting this may limit the options available for adoption.