Foster family :

What does it mean to be a foster family?

A foster family will host and educate a service dog in training for a period of 6 months to 1 year. The dog must not be left alone more than 4 hours a day. The foster family must make a commitment to come to the premises of the foundation located in Laval for behavioral sessions, medical visits and assessments.

The dog remains at all times the property of the foundation and Asista reserves the right to make any decision favoring the well-being of the dog.

Are there fees associated with being a foster family?

Asista covers all veterinary fees, provides basic accessories (bowls, cage, necklace, leash, toys) as well as food throughout the accommodation.

Can the dog go into public places?

Being a service dog in training, it is essential that he can be desensitized to different environments. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you bring the dog to as many public places as possible. An official letter is given so that you can bring it with you to institutions.


General information:


How is it possible to help the foundation?

There are many ways to support our cause, by becoming a foster family, volunteering and donating. Another very simple way to help us is to promote our cause! If you would like to contact us for a project you can do it at


How are dogs trained? What is their specialty?

All dogs receive the same basic education training. Thereafter, they will receive specialized and tailored training according to the needs related to the mental health condition of the beneficiary with whom they will be paired. Frequent follow-up allows adjustments to be made as needed.

What training method is used?

The foundation works with positive reinforcement in order to obtain the desired results, while respecting an education framework inspired by veterinarian behaviourists.

How do you choose the dogs that are part of your program?

Typically, our dogs come from shelters or rescues and are generally large breeds. For safety reasons, we do not train any dog ​​that already belong to someone or is not chosen directly by the foundation. We rely on specific qualities, tests and professional based recommendations. If the dog does not meet specific qualities at the end of the foster family period, they will be disqualified from the program. 

How is Asista unique?

In addition to working with dogs from shelters or rescues, the Asista Foundation offers service dogs totally free of charge; We only ask to cover the cost of the harness. We do not ask for a mandatory donation in exchange. In addition, being located at the largest veterinary center in Canada, we have access to a wide variety of expertise that allow us to meet high standards and guidelines.


I have a mental health condition and I wish to apply for a service dog. What should I do ?

The first thing to do is to consult a doctor who can diagnose your condition. Subsequently, you will have to complete and send us our form that can be found under the Apply tab. 

How does the selection process work once the form is sent?

For logistical and resource reasons, we do not offer any application tracking. We receive about 20 applications a day and place about 30 in a year. The members of our selection committee meet on a monthly basis to evaluate the applications in order to clearly define the needs of each. If a "match" seems possible with a dog, we will contact the person at this time to continue the selection process.

I sent my form but no one contacted me yet. Why?

Due to the very high volume of application and available resources, we only contact the people chosen to continue the process, in a timely manner. However, not receiving a call right after sending the app does not mean that you are being denied.

I would like to add new information to my file; who should I contact?

You can send an email to specifying the nature of the email as well as the person concerned.

What are the costs of having a service dog?

Asista gives the service dog free and without donation. We only ask to cover the cost of the harness. The beneficiary, however, undertakes to cover future veterinary fees, maintenance and the purchase of food.

Is there a minimum age or other mandatory physical conditions that the beneficiary must meet?

There is no set guideline, however the recipient must be able to take care of the dog by offering a rhythm and a respectable quality of life. The same condition is imposed on the level of the physical condition.

What are the places allowed to the dog?

All Asista service dogs will have the right to follow you in public places. The harnesses of the foundation and the official letter handed over will serve as a reference when needed.



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