Veterans & First Responder Support

We understand that the journey of veterans and first responders is one of courage, sacrifice, and unwavering commitment. As you’ve faced challenges that few others can comprehend, we are here to honor your service by providing resources that prioritize your mental and emotional well-being.

Join us in this mission to honor your service through gratitude and action. We believe that the journey towards resilience is a shared one, and we’re here to walk alongside you every step of the way. Together, we can build a stronger, healthier future for all our heroes.

On this page, you will find our Service Dog Application and Forms, our First Responder’s Drop-In Class information, how to Request a Therapy Dog Visit, and suggested Mental Health Resources.

Service Dog Application

Please note: all fields are required.

Are you applying as a veteran or first responder?

Can you provide us with a copy of your NYSDOH certificate?

Can you provide us with a DD214?

Are you currently receiving any VA benefits?

Do you own your home or rent?

Can you provide proof of home ownership?

Can you provide you landlords name and contact information?

Do you have a fenced in yard? (This is not a requirement, it helps us determine the best dog for your lifestyle.)

Can you provide a letter from a health care provider stating you require or would benefit from a service animal?

Have you ever considered hurting yourself or others?

Are you currently in any form of counseling?

Have you received any drug or alcohol treatment in the past 12 months?

Are you currently following an aftercare recovery plan?

Have you ever been convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony?

Are you a registered sex offender? (Please note this does NOT disqualify you from consideration)

Has any court ever issued an order of protection against you?

Are you currently employed?

Will you require your PTS or light mobility service dog to accompany you to work?

Do you have any other animals in the house?

Are they current on their vaccinations?

Would you like us to temperament test your own dog?

Are you willing to commit to attending 8-12 months of dog training classes (one class per week)?

Do you believe your current situation will allow you to keep a service dog for at least 8-10 years?

Will your service dog spend most of its time with you both at home and outside of the home (and not confined alone/by itself).

Do you understand that a service dog is not a family pet and has been trained for specific jobs to perform for you and should therefore interact mainly with you?

Do you acknowledge that by taking one of our service dogs, you are a representative for Operation At Ease and the service dog industry and will be expected to maintain both your dogs training skills and your skills as an owner/handler?

Do you agree that your service dog will not be off its leash except in a secure area?

Do you agree that you will take full responsibility for the care of your service dog as far as their safety, health & welfare? And if you are not able to take full responsibility for these things, a qualified person will do it for you?

Will you or a qualified person feed your service dog a good quality dog food twice a day and maintain its ideal weight?

Will you or a qualified person ensure your service dog gets daily exercise?

Will you or a qualified person take full responsibility for cleaning up after your dog in public places?

Do we have your permission to contact anyone who is listed on this application if we need further information?

The Operation At Ease training center is located in Rotterdam, NY. Upon successful completion of classroom training we begin Public Access training, which is done at various locations in the Capital District. Do you have reliable transportation to get you and your service dog in training to and from all training and public access classes for a eight month period?

I understand that if I do not complete this program in its entirety my dog will not be designated as an Operation At Ease inc trained service dog. The dog will remain in my care as a pet only after an Operation At Ease representative has determined my situation is safe for myself and the dog. If they deem my situation unsafe the dog will be removed from my home

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The following three forms must be completed and submitted with each service dog application. Click each form to open and download the PDF.


Applicant Intake Form
(PDF - 336 kB)

Physician Form Letter
(PDF - 225 kB)

Waiver of Liability
(PDF - 159 kB)

Additional Forms For Veterans:
We need a copy of the applicant's DD-214 member copy four Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.

Additional Forms For First Responders:
We need a copy of the applicant's NYSDOH Certificate.

Completed forms can be emailed to our Intake Coordinator, Danielle at Danielle@operationatease.org.

The following three forms must be completed and submitted with each service dog application. Click each form to open and download the PDF.


Applicant Intake Form
(PDF - 336 kB)

Physician Form Letter
(PDF - 225 kB)

Waiver of Liability
(PDF - 159 kB)

Additional Forms For Veterans:
We need a copy of the applicant's DD-214 member copy four Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.

Additional Forms For First Responders:
We need a copy of the applicant's NYSDOH Certificate.

Completed forms can be emailed to our Intake Coordinator, Danielle at Danielle@operationatease.org.

Please note: all fields are required.

Are you applying as a veteran or first responder?

Can you provide us with a copy of your NYSDOH certificate?

Can you provide us with a DD214?

Are you currently receiving any VA benefits?

Do you own your home or rent?

Can you provide proof of home ownership?

Can you provide you landlords name and contact information?

Do you have a fenced in yard? (This is not a requirement, it helps us determine the best dog for your lifestyle.)

Can you provide a letter from a health care provider stating you require or would benefit from a service animal?

Have you ever considered hurting yourself or others?

Are you currently in any form of counseling?

Have you received any drug or alcohol treatment in the past 12 months?

Are you currently following an aftercare recovery plan?

Have you ever been convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony?

Are you a registered sex offender? (Please note this does NOT disqualify you from consideration)

Has any court ever issued an order of protection against you?

Are you currently employed?

Will you require your PTS or light mobility service dog to accompany you to work?

Do you have any other animals in the house?

Are they current on their vaccinations?

Would you like us to temperament test your own dog?

Are you willing to commit to attending 8-12 months of dog training classes (one class per week)?

Do you believe your current situation will allow you to keep a service dog for at least 8-10 years?

Will your service dog spend most of its time with you both at home and outside of the home (and not confined alone/by itself).

Do you understand that a service dog is not a family pet and has been trained for specific jobs to perform for you and should therefore interact mainly with you?

Do you acknowledge that by taking one of our service dogs, you are a representative for Operation At Ease and the service dog industry and will be expected to maintain both your dogs training skills and your skills as an owner/handler?

Do you agree that your service dog will not be off its leash except in a secure area?

Do you agree that you will take full responsibility for the care of your service dog as far as their safety, health & welfare? And if you are not able to take full responsibility for these things, a qualified person will do it for you?

Will you or a qualified person feed your service dog a good quality dog food twice a day and maintain its ideal weight?

Will you or a qualified person ensure your service dog gets daily exercise?

Will you or a qualified person take full responsibility for cleaning up after your dog in public places?

Do we have your permission to contact anyone who is listed on this application if we need further information?

The Operation At Ease training center is located in Rotterdam, NY. Upon successful completion of classroom training we begin Public Access training, which is done at various locations in the Capital District. Do you have reliable transportation to get you and your service dog in training to and from all training and public access classes for a eight month period?

I understand that if I do not complete this program in its entirety my dog will not be designated as an Operation At Ease inc trained service dog. The dog will remain in my care as a pet only after an Operation At Ease representative has determined my situation is safe for myself and the dog. If they deem my situation unsafe the dog will be removed from my home

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First Responders Drop-In Class

Drop-in classes are now available for first responders! No commitment is required. Just pre-register and come by with your dog. These classes are intended for therapeutic benefit without the long commitment of the service dog program.

 

(Please note: Classes are only for first responders)

Request Therapy Dog Visit

Operation At Ease is proudly serves the people who serve us. Our team of therapy dogs are available to visit your veteran’s organization, military base, or anywhere first responders serve. If you are interested in scheduling a visit or hearing more information, please contact Teri Rudolph at Teri@operationatease.org

Mental Health Resources

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

The 988 Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals in the United States. Simply calling or texting 988 or typing 988Lifeline.org will connect you to compassionate care & support for mental health-related distress.

If you or someone you know needs support now, call or text 988.
Or chat at 988lifeline.org

Give an Hour

Give an Hour provides mental health services for people who have experienced humanmade trauma. Everything we do is informed through the knowledge gained from lived experiences.

We listen to what individuals want and need, educate mental health providers to understand the community on a deeper level, and customize our services and supports to be responsive toward long term health and happiness – for the impacted individual as well as their loved ones.

Albany Healthcare System

At the VA Albany Healthcare System, our health care teams are highly experienced and guided by the needs of Veterans, their families, and caregivers. Find a health facility near you, and manage your health online. Sign up for community events and updates.

Samuel S. Stratton Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center
113 Holland Avenue
Albany, NY 12208-3410
518-626-5000

Albany Vet Center

We offer confidential help for Veterans, service members, and their families at no cost in a non-medical setting. Our services include counseling for needs such as depression, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and the psychological effects of military sexual trauma (MST). We can also connect you with more support in VA and your community.

 

Military OneSource

Military OneSource from the Department of Defense is your 24/7 gateway to trusted information, resources and confidential help. When MilLife happens, it’s your “first line of support” — giving service members and military families tools to stay well and thrive.

Northern Rivers

Our Mobile Crisis Services teams are comprised of licensed clinical supervisors and clinicians, family advocates, peer support specialists, and case managers. In teams of two, team members are deployed to assist adults, children, adolescents, and their families resolve emotional and behavioral health crisis situations.

We help prevent unnecessary hospitalization and emergency room visits by stabilizing the crisis in the most normalized, least restrictive setting.

Mobile Crisis teams function within a continuum of related services throughout the community to build an integrated crisis system that meets the needs of all children, adults, adolescents, and their families.

Parents, guardians, or adults should call 518.292.5499 for immediate live crisis support. When our teams are unavailable, you will be prompted to reach out to the nearest emergency responders, including 911, local hospital emergency room, or local mental health agency in your county for support.

Please note: Northern Rivers’ Mobile Crisis Services team in Albany County handles children and adolescent crises only. For an adult in crisis in Albany County, please contact the Albany County Mental Health Center Mobile Crisis Team at 518.549.6500.