The Guide Dog Foundation is looking for passionate Long Island volunteers to provide loving homes to future guide dog puppies. Puppy raisers take home an 8-week-old puppy and care for it until it is between 14 and 18 months old.
Puppy raisers play a vital role in the development of future assistance dogs: they spend countless hours caring for, teaching and socializing the pups. They are responsible for socializing their future guide dog puppy and are encouraged to provide common day-to-day socializing opportunities and exposure to new and diverse surroundings. A well-socialized puppy will have fewer adjustments to make when it comes back to the foundation for formal training.
Formal training takes about three to six months, depending on the incoming client it’s being matched with. While the dog is in for training, the puppy raiser will receive monthly updates and a photos to show its progression within our program. Once the dog is placed with a handler who is blind or has low vision, the puppy raiser will be invited to attend a foundation graduation ceremony where they can see the dog they raised and meet the dog’s new handler.
“Our puppy raisers have an undeniable love, passion, and kindness that they each share. It is an experience like no other and, while it requires work on the raiser’s part, our raisers are left with a priceless feeling of the good they’re contributing to the world,” said Lorin Bruzzese, puppy program manager for the Guide Dog Foundation.
The puppy raiser is also required to teach the puppy basic obedience, such as how to walk on a leash, sit and stay, down and to come when called.
For more than 70 years, the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, Inc. (www.GuideDog.org), has trained and placed guide and service dogs to provide independence, enhanced mobility, and companionship to people who are blind, have low vision, or have other special needs. The Guide Dog Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving clients from across the United States and Canada. The Guide Dog Foundation was the first assistance dog school in the United States to be accredited by both the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International.
For anyone interested in learning more on becoming a puppy raiser, apply directly online at www.guidedog.org.