Some large charities raise the full $39k themselves and then ask the families for nothing, but those charities are heavily-funded (often with multi-million dollar budgets).
Our small organization currently trains just two to three dogs per year because we just don’t (yet) have the depth and breadth of resources that larger organizations have. So our current annual donations fund only part (up to half) of what it takes to raise and train a Service Dog, and thus ask the families for the rest. We hope eventually to have the kind of resources that ensures that the families won't have to contribute as much, but we are many years away from that goal. If you would like to help fund Pawsitivity's mission of "rescuing dogs to rescue people," please consider donating!