This Guide Dog Organization Is Looking for Volunteer Remote Puppy Raisers

updated Dec 1, 2020
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If you’ve recently adopted a pandemic puppy (or you’re merely an expert in the art of training a pooch), one service dog organization is in need of your expertise. Southeastern Guide Dogs, a non-profit that trains dogs to assist those with disabilities, is on the hunt for volunteer puppy raisers, giving you a puppy to nurture and train for around a year as you provide them with all the guidance and love they need to become an all-star service dog to those in need.

The org’s recently-launched raise a puppy initiative gives dog lovers over the age of 18 the chance to serve as a remote puppy raiser, which means anyone who lives near the organization’s many locations across the country is eligible to apply. Residents in several U.S. cities in Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, and soon Ohio are encouraged to apply to bring home one of the pups, all of which are around 10 weeks old. You’ll be guided to help train your pup with obedience skills, help socialize them, and introduce them to as many experiences as possible, keeping them in your care until around 12 to 16 months old.

After you return your puppy to the organization, they’ll work to ensure your pooch is certified as a service animal and is ready to help care for a human friend in need. Southeastern pays for the puppy’s medical expenses, with volunteer raisers covering the cost of food, approved toys, and supplies.

No formal training experience is necessary, although prior experience is, of course, encouraged. You’ll have access to a team of experts that will train you to train your pup as part of the six-week Puppy Kindergarten program, with most training sessions happening virtually due to COVID-19 safety regulations.

If you’re interested, check out the puppy raiser Q&A, which answers many of your questions about what to expect and what you’ll need to bring home one of the service dogs in training. If this sounds like your dream opportunity, apply here and keep your paws crossed that the puppy of your dreams is waiting for you.