Short answer: Yes, although scholarships (up to 100%) are available.
Long answer: For any organization, the approximate amount spent on rescuing, socializing, training, and placing, and then providing a decade of support for a service dog throughout its life is $39,000 . This amount is approximately the same for all service dog organizations. Some organizations do all the fundraising (but have long wait lists). At Pawsitivity, we raise half, and we ask that your responsibility is to the other half of the costs, which is $19,500. Scholarships (up to 100%) are available.
Are service dogs tax-deductible? Yes--the fee for a service dog is a tax-deductible medical expense.
How the process of getting a service dog goes:
1 - About twice a year, we open up the application process for people to apply. You can check this page for announcements about when to apply. We open up for applications about twice a year.
3 - When we find who we believe might be a good fit for the dog we're working with, we contact that person for an interview. If everything works out, we then train the dog (and the person). We fundraise half the cost of training, and your handler's fee is the other half.
4 - Even after graduation, we are available for questions and advice.
 Coutts, Jason. "Cost of Canine Programs Across the United States." Syracuse, New York: American Society of Canine Trainers, 2012: 24.