Oct. 17, 2017 – The tiny, furry balls of potential that are bred, born and trained at Southeastern Guide Dogs grow up to be four-legged superheroes that transform the lives of people who need them. The very best puppies in the world become guide dogs for the blind and service dogs for veterans with disabilities. There is never any charge for these courageous canines, and our organization operates with no government funding.
But even superheroes need training. And that’s where volunteer puppy raisers come in.
From the age of 10 weeks until about 18 months, guide dog and service dog puppies live with their foster parents, learning house manners, basic obedience and socialization. They have access rights, so they go to the mall, the library, restaurants, ball games, etc. and are part of the family until it’s time to return to our campus for six months of high level training.
Puppy raisers don’t need experience or fancy credentials—all they need is love.
Volunteer puppy raisers live in many parts of the country and come in all varieties: they are singles, families, working professionals, retirees and college students. And more are always needed. “The most rewarding thing will be seeing Petey in his harness, alongside someone who really needs him,” says Stephanie Campos, a senior biology major at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg who is puppy raiser to a sweet yellow lab.
The top 5 reasons to become a puppy raiser?
1. Fill your free time with something meaningful, while being a role model of volunteerism
2. Learn something new, while profoundly changing the life of another person
3. Join a community that is proud to be making a difference
4. When it’s time to bring your puppy in for formal training, you can pick up another one to raise the same day!
And the best reason of all?
5. The puppy you raise will one day be someone’s superhero.
To learn more about Southeastern Guide Dogs, puppy raising, extraordinary dogs and inspiring people, go to: www.GuideDogs.org