Volunteer Puppy Raiser Application

Hello potential Volunteer Puppy Raiser!

We change lives – 1 dog at a time …… and you could raise that dog!

We provide free service dogs for people with physical disabilities other than blindness.  The average wait time for one of our service dogs is over 2 years. 

Become a puppy raiserService Dogs perform tasks (the definition of a service dog under ADA) for their disabled person to assist them in their daily living. The most frequently requested task by our applicants is to retrieve dropped items.

We adopt carefully selected mixed breed pups, 10 weeks up to 2 years old, from rescue groups to train as our service dogs. Occasionally we receive a donated dog, which may be a purebred, or a hyperallergenic dog. All our pups are very people oriented, loving, intelligent, responsive to training, and nonaggressive. You’ll be living with a great dog for 12-18 months, depending on the dog.

Is it hard to give up the pup? Yes, but all your efforts are to prepare the pup for its journey. If the pup graduates, you will feel tremendous pride and joy at knowing you helped.  A tear provoking story. Our placed dogs make such a concrete difference in their person’s life.

What does a puppy raiser do? Our training staff will work closely with you to guide and support you. You’ll meet other nice folks in your group classes. The first 6 months will be intense. You’ll be teaching the pup a lot.  Young pups need frequent toilet breaks, and a LOT of supervision. We’ll select and adopt the pup you’ll be raising once we’ve processed your raiser application.

Dule as a puppy

A puppy is high energy, and a fenced area where the pup can run to release its pent up energy is a godsend.  If you’re a jogger, great! If the pup runs for 10 minutes/day,  they’re easier to live with, and they learn better. You’ll also walk your pup every day – short walks at first; a mile+ after the pup is 6 months old. Walking is intellectually stimulating for the pup – like their reading a book. All the people, dogs, sounds, smells, and sights! It’s their favorite part of the day.

You’ll train the pup in snippets several times a day, and take it on 2-3 outings each week to expand its knowledge of the world, and build its confidence. You’ll bring the pup to fundraising events for a short appearance.

Read our blog post about becoming a volunteer puppy raiser.

We have a network of vacation relief homes to give you relief when you need it.

We cover the major expenses of the pup – vet care, collars, leashes, crates, some toys. We ask that you pay for the pup’s food. Your paying for the food allows us to start another pup each year.  Most raiser buy more toys than we give you, and dog bed(s) for around the house. The pups are NOT allowed on furniture.

 We so appreciate our volunteer puppy raisers!  They’re indispensable to our mission! A successful service dog needs to bond closely with his person. That starts in the loving home of his raiser.

PLEASE FILL OUT OUR APPLICATION BELOW

Name *:
Email & Phone *:
Street Address *:
Why would you like to raise a Putnam Service Dog puppy? *:
When would you be ready to begin raising a Putnam service Dog puppy? *:
Who lives in your household - names and ages of all people(including you)? *:
Who would be the primary puppy raiser? *:
Who will take responsibility for the puppy when the puppy raiser isn’t available? *:
Is anyone in your household allergic to dogs? *:
Is anyone in your household afraid of dogs? *:
How many hours will the puppy be left alone during the day? *:
What area of the house will the puppy be left when it’s alone? *:
Do you have a fenced yard? *:
Do you have other dogs in your home? If yes, we’d like to do an onsite visit of your home. *:
What breed/age/sex/spayed or neutered? :
How do your dogs react to other dogs? :
Have your dogs ever growled, snapped, resource guarded, cowered, or avoided people or other dogs? :
Any other pets besides your dogs? *:
If yes, what type? How old are they? :
How do they react to dogs? :
How many dogs have you owned, and what happened to them? *:
How much experience have you had with dogs regarding obedience training? What methods were you taught? *:
Are you willing and able to attend weekly hour long classes to train and socialize the puppy? They will be scheduled in a location, and at a time that maximizes the class's convenience. *:
Are you willing to attend fundraising events? *:
Are you willing to provide food, toys, bedding, leash, bowls and transport for the puppy at your expense? *:
Are you willing to adhere to our policies to keep our puppies healthy and safe at all times? This includes *:

1. Keeping the dog on a leash unless in a fully fenced in area.

2. Avoiding all dogs off leash and dog parks. Supervised play dates in a fenced area are great!

3. Providing adequate exercise. When the puppy is 6 months old, a mile+ walk every day will mean a happier, better behaved dog.

4. Not allowing the puppies on the furniture.

5. Teaching the puppies to sleep in the crate and stay in the crate when alone in the house.

6. Following our socialization and training guidelines to the best of your abilities

7. Your acknowledging and agreeing the dog belongs to Putnam Service Dogs, and is yours on loan to raise and prepare for its Formal Training as a Service Dog.

Your acknowledging and agreeing that Putnam Service Dogs retains the right to remove the dog from your household if the safety and well-being of the dog are at risk, or its training and socializing are not being adequately attended to.

If the puppy is released from our program before graduation, and you raised the puppy for at least 6 months, you’re eligible to receive the dog free, if desired. If you desire the released dog, and you raised it less than 6 months, you have first option to receive it, but must pay our adoption fee.

I agree to all of the above policies.
Please give us 2 references that will attest to your ability to fulfill the obligations and responsibilities of being a Putnam Service Dog Volunteer Puppy Raiser. :
Anything else you’d like us to know? :
Thank you for beginning your journey with Putnam Service Dogs. You’ve joined a great cause!