Volunteer Service Dog Puppy Raiser


Cause Areas


It's flexible! We'll work with your schedule.


PO Box 573Brewster, NY 10509
Putnam Service Dogs pup


This volunteer opportunity is for people who LOVE dogs, are hard workers, and truly want to make a difference in another person's life. You will learn a lot about dogs through this experience. The first 6 months you have a puppy are very time intensive - house training it, bonding with it, training it in basic obedience, and socializing it carefully (to avoid scaring the puppy) to new situations and experiences. Our Volunteer Puppy Raisers are essential in the creation of our Service Dogs. We can't produce out service dogs without our volunteer puppy raisers! We use a class structure to train our puppies, 3-4 puppies and their raisers, led by our trainers, to teach the puppies to work under high distraction. Once a class of puppy raisers is formed (3-4 raisers), we'll adopt mixed breed puppies from Rescue Organizations. Our recipients tend to be in wheelchairs, and drop things, so we need larger dogs that retrieve. Hearing alert dogs may be smaller. Most of the puppies will be lab or shepherd mixes. Once a class is formed, we will adopt the puppies and immediately distribute them to the raisers. The key learning time in a dog is 3-16 weeks, and we don't want to waste this! Volunteers will be expected to attend weekly training classes until the puppy is 8 months old, then once a month. Our Trainers will guide you on how to build a loving, trusting relationship with your puppy - key for a service dog, how to socialize the puppy to new places and experiences, and how to train the puppy. You will learn a lot about dogs! Our trainers will take over training the puppy at 16-18 months of age, depending on their maturity level, to learn the specific tasks the matched recipient needs. You will have the puppy about 20 months until it is placed with its recipient, unless it's released from our Program. If it is released, and you want the puppy as your dog, it's free if you've been raising the puppy more than 6 months. If less than 6 months, the adoption fee is $550. If you don't want the puppy, we'll carefully select its next loving home. Not every puppy will make it to graduation. Being a service dog expects a lot of a dog! We cover the major expenses - vet care, most supplies including crates, collars, leashes, vests, and some toys. We ask our volunteers to provide food (about $35/month), toys beyond what we provide, some supplies - food bowls, dog beds, etc., and transportation costs to and from classes and fundraising events. There's more information on our website, putnamservicedogs.org, and the application is on the Home Page under Applications. Or call 917-449-5359.


  • Animal Care / Handling

Good Match For

People 55+ Group

Requirements & Commitment

  • Driver's License Needed
  • Must be at least 18
  • Orientation or Training
  • More when young puppies, avg. 1-2 hrs/day.
  • Must love dogs, able to walk 1 mile/day, train using only positive, humane methods taught to you.

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