Southeastern Guide Dogs has puppy raising groups across the southeastern United States, and Chattanooga is no exception. Volunteer puppy raisers take young dogs into their homes to teach house manners and basic skills to prepare the pups for advance skills training and life as a working dog.
Interested raisers should know the following information:
• No experience is needed. Puppy Raising Services will provide a supportive team and the tools to succeed in this volunteer role.
• Puppy raisers should be 18 years of age or older. Older teens can raise a puppy if a parent or guardian agrees to share the responsibility.
• Puppy raisers commit to “Puppy Kindergarten” to start their training and twice-a-month meetings with their local group.
• Southeastern Guide Dogs covers the puppy’s veterinary care expenses.
• Puppy raisers cover the cost of food, flea prevention, collar, leash, crate, approved toys, etc.
• Puppies begin their in-home experience around nine weeks old and return to Southeastern Guide Dogs for training after 12-16 months of being in a raiser’s home.
• Puppy raisers can have other dogs or pets in the house.
Once the young dogs return to the Southeastern Guide Dogs campus in Palmetto, Fl. they go on to find their career. Career paths include being a guide dog for a visually impaired individual, a service dog for a veteran, a kid’s companion dog for a child with significant challenges or as a breeder dog, to name a few.
Southeastern Guide Dogs is entirely donor-funded and relies on volunteers like puppy raisers to help continue the mission. To learn more or to apply to be a puppy raiser, visit https://www.guidedogs.org/volunteer/raise-a-puppy/.