Apply for a Service/ESA Dog

We are not currently accepting applications for service dogs or emotional support animals.

In order to be considered for a Hearts of God Service/ESA Dog, applicants must meet the following requirements:


  • 18 years of age or older
  • Have mobility, PTSD, and/or hearing disabilities
  • Be able to to travel to Morgantown for training
  • Be able to take and pass online course at WVU (course cost up to $500)
  • Have the ability to take and pass a written and practical examination

*Veterans are given first priority.


Fill out an application

  • Complete application (online form)
  • Download and have your doctor complete the Medical History Form
  • Provide 2 personal references (online form)
  • Complete social styles forms (online form)
  • Pay $50 non-refundable application fee (check or PAYPAL)

Mail all printed material (and check if applicable) to:

Lindsay Parenti
West Virginia University Davis College of Animal and Nutritional Sciences
PO Box 6108
Morgantown, WV 26505

Step 2

Telephone Interview

We will contact you after reviewing your initial application to set up a time for a telephone interview

Step 3

Home Evaluation

After your phone interview, successful candidates will be contacted to schedule a home visit.

Step 4

Invitation to Certification Training

After your home visit, candidates will receive an invitation to a certification training session.

Step 5

Handler Training Certification

Successful candidates must complete the following Handler Certification courses to acquire handler certification status from Hearts of Gold:

  • Animal and Veterinary Sciences (AVS) 276: This is a WVU online course of 6 weeks during summer semesters and 15 weeks during Fall and Spring semesters
  • Register for AVS 277: This WVU course meets in Morgantown every day for 3 weeks during summer sessions and once per week for 15 weeks during Fall and Spring semesters; *Prerequisite AVS 276



Step 6

Selection Review

(A small blurb about what selection review is and how long it takes)

Step 7

Invitation to Meet and Greet

Meet available dogs at Hearts of Gold Training Facility in Morgantown, WV.

Step 8

Weekend Trial Period

Meet available dogs at Hearts of Gold Training Facility in Morgantown, WV.

Step 9

Trial Assessment Meeting

At Hearts of Gold Training Facility to determine whether the dog stays with applicant or comes back for remediation training.

Step 10

Monthly Probationary Period

Once the dog is determined ready to stay with the applicant, the one month probationary period begins, with weekly or bi-weekly sessions with staff and trainers and preparation for CGC and PAT tests and team certification.

Step 11

CGC/PAT/ Team Certification Testing

Test occurs at least one month after initial placement, but no more than 3 months after initial placement and one practice test is permitted. All tests must be passed for placement to continue. Failure to pass results in dog returning to Hearts of Gold and client re-training/certification.

Step 12

Partial Transfer of Ownership

Once certified, a transfer of ownership will occur in which all costs related to the dog are borne by the client/applicant. The transfer is partial; Hearts of Gold reserves the right to remove the dog according to guidelines outlined in the transfer contract.