Service Dog Academy

KSDT is accepting applications for mobility assistance service dogs and psychiatric service dogs as a foundational program!

Learn All about

KSDT’s Service Dog Program:


Things to Consider Before Applying to Obtain a Service Dog:

Does my life-style allow for me/my caregiver to care for a dog?

Will the service dog benefit me?

Will I stay up to date with current laws and regulations pertaining to service dogs?

Will I be able to stay consistent with training even after the program ends?

Will handling a service dog in public be too triggering or overwhelming for me? (As a service dog handler you will attract a lot of attention and may face access issues)

What's the difference between a Service Animal vs. Emotional Support Animal?

A service animal and an emotional support animal (ESA) serve different purposes and have different legal protections. Here are some common differences:

Service Animal

  • Can be a dog or miniature horse
  • Trained for people with disabilities
  • Protected under ADA; allowed to accompany their owners publicly
  • Not required to be formally registered as a service animal
  • Staffers may ask two questions: "Is the animal required because of a disability?" and "What work has the animal been trained to perform?"

Emotional Support

  • Any animal, from cat to snake
  • Provides comfort for owners
  • Protected under Fair Housing Act; not allowed to accompany owners
  • Needs documentation from a physician, psychiatrist, etc.
  • A housing provider can't ask for medical record proof from applicants or tenants

Meet Your Trainers

Tori Freymuth

Tori began her career as an intern for two non-profit training psychiatric and mobility service dog organizations for disabled veterans. She trained and supported handlers, selected prospects, and pursued a Bachelor's a degree in Canine Training from SUNY Cobleskill.

Upon completion of her internships, she began training for KSDT and has been thrilled to work with their awesome clientele including several service dogs in training! In addition to training service dogs for others, Tori herself is a service dog owner/handler having trained her past and current dogs in medical alert and response.

Noah Riegelhaupt

Noah obtained his bachelor's degree in Canine Training and Management from SUNY Cobleskill, where he took a special interest in service dog work! Since he fell in love with service dog training he did his internship at a service dog organization in New Mexico which trained psychiatric, mobility, and medical alert dogs.

Through his time and experience with training service dogs Noah has been overjoyed to watch the successes of service dog teams and looks forward to continuing to help the community! 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Service Dog?

A service dog is defined as a dog specifically trained to mitigate a person’s disability through tasks or alerts that are directly related to the disability. A service dog is allowed to go anywhere the handler/general public is allowed to go with the exception of places like sterile environments (burn units or surgical rooms) and open air exhibits of zoos.

How do dogs become Service Dogs?

Service dogs undergo significant obedience and task training on how to assist their handlers and achieve the minimum standard for public access behavior/manners which ensure the safety of the service dog team and general public! Generally service dogs can be grouped into guide dogs, mobility assistance service dogs, psychiatric service dogs, and medical alert service dogs.

Who can benefit from a Service Dog?

Most people with diagnosed disabilities can benefit from a service dog! Each individual’s disability affects their lives differently so speaking with a trainer well versed in training service dogs is a safe and effective way to decide if a service dog might be a good fit for you.

Generally programs require applicants to be capable of handling and caring for their own service dog, however exceptions can usually be made for a disabled person with a consistent caregiver that can handle and care for the dog at home and in public.

What is considered a Task or Alert?

A task is a taught physical behavior that helps the handler navigate their disability is during or after a symptom of the disability is already present, where an alert is where the dog is taught to “tell” their owner before a medical episode takes place.

  • Interrupting repetitive behaviors (leg bouncing, skin picking,etc)
  • Bracing and counter balance (going up stairs, standing up/sitting down, balance support)
  • Momentum pulling (wheelchair, stair assist)
  • Deep pressure therapy
  • Item retrieval
  • Panic attack or flashback interruption
  • Epilepsy/seizure alert
  • Diabetic alert (high and/or low blood sugar levels)
  • Cardiac alert (POTS, syncope)
  • Allergen or gluten alert


Join Our Family!

With over 35 years of training tens of thousands of happy and well-behaved dogs, Kathy Santo Dog Training is an innovative industry leader not only in NJ but internationally as well.


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KSDT is accepting applications for mobility assistance service dogs and psychiatric service dogs as a foundational program!