Well-raised puppies are the lifeblood of our organization and it can start with you!
Our Puppy Raisers not only love dogs, but more importantly, they want to give someone in need the gift of independence.
As a volunteer “foster family” you will be teaching the puppy about love, trust, bravery, basic obedience, and socialization. You’ll take your pup just about everywhere you go: to movies, church, theme parks, bowling, restaurants, stores and malls. You’ll use public transportation like buses, trains, and airplanes. They can go with you on vacations. You’ll expose them to all the things they could encounter as a working service dog, so they become confident and comfortable in any situation.
Puppies are constantly learning during their first year of life! You’ll enjoy attending our specialized training classes and outings along with other Puppy Raisers in order to learn to teach your puppy basic obedience commands like sit, down, stay, heel, and come.
Becoming a volunteer Puppy Raiser for a future service dog is a 15 to 18 month-long commitment of time, energy, and love. Every day through care and training, Puppy Raisers provide the critical foundation that puppies need to begin formal service dog training. There are few things in this world more heart-warming than seeing your puppy work seamlessly with its disabled handler knowing that you’ve given someone a level of independence that she or he did not have before.
As a volunteer Puppy Raiser most, if not all, of your expenses are tax deductible. CST is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, please refer to your tax consultant for detailed information about deductions.
Puppy Raisers are supported by our Canine Support Teams Dog Training staff who arrange monthly events in a variety of settings and provide tips on care, grooming, training and manners. In addition, we offer specialized obedience classes at the CST facility.
All first-time applicants are asked to fill out a Puppy Raiser Application and will be interviewed before a puppy is placed in the home. We prefer that our raisers live in the Southern California area, but exceptions might be made under special circumstances. Children and pets in the household are a plus!
The most important trait of puppy raisers is the dedication to provide daily care to a puppy and consistency in its socializing and training. If you decide to open your home to a puppy, you will receive a Puppy Raising Manual to help you prepare for life with your future service dog.