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Opportunity Details

People with Disabilities, Animals
Caring for Animals

Age Minimum (with Adult): 18+, Minimum Age:18+

Volunteer Service Dog Puppy Raisers

Putnam Service Dogs is looking for volunteers to help raise its next class of puppies so it can continue to provide free service dogs to those in need. This is a volunteer opportunity that is very gratifying, indispensable to the organization, and a chance to learn a lot about dogs and live with a great dog!

Putnam Service Dogs adopts mixed-breed Labrador, golden retriever, and German Shepherd puppies from rescue organizations. Volunteer puppy raisers are taught how to socialize these puppies to new situations and people, train them, and nurture them in order to build trusting, loving dogs.

Volunteer expectations:

  • Must love dogs and have a desire to learn more about them
  • Must be a hard worker who is dedicated to helping others
  • Must be able to physically exercise an energetic puppy by walking one mile per day by six months, as well as run the puppy daily for 5-10 minutes in a safe place

Volunteer puppy raiser program:

  • Volunteer puppy raisers learn how to form a very close bond with their pups, exercise them appropriately, socialize them to new people/dogs/experiences, train their puppies to achieve a high level of obedience and beginning service dog commands, and care for their pup.
  • Puppy raisers attend weekly classes, led by professional trainers, once a week for the first year, with daily training at home, and weekly socializing as directed by the Putnam Service Dogs trainer. There are 3-4 puppy raisers per class, so the puppies learn to work under distraction. Class scheduled dates are determined after polling the class members for what works with their schedules.
  • Formal training begins at about 18 months of age when puppies move to live with trainers. They'll be taught the specific tasks they'll use to help the recipient they've been matched to, such as retrieving dropped items, assisting with dressing, turning lights on and off, and opening and closing drawers and doors.


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