We can't provide Service Dogs to our recipients (currently 11 waiting) without our Volunteer Puppy Raisers to nurture, socialize, and train our puppies. 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 need larger dogs that retrieve. Most of the puppies will be lab 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 classes every other week. Our Head Trainer will guide you on how to build a loving, trusting relationship with your puppy - key for a service dog, and how to train the puppy. You will learn a lot about dogs! She will take over training the puppy at 16 months to train the puppy to perform the specific tasks the matched recipient needs. You will have the puppy about 20 months, unless it is 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. Only about 1/3 of the puppies will make it to graduation. Being a service dog expects a lot of a dog! We'll 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
- Orientation or Training
- More when young puppies, avg. 1-2 hrs/day.
- Must love dogs, train using only positive, humane methods taught to you.