Apply here: Puppy Raiser Application
Give the gift of fostering a future service dog and help a child with autism in need today!
Who can apply: Volunteers must reside in Southwestern Ontario (Guelph, Kitchener/Waterloo, Cambridge, Hamilton, Niagara, Brantford, Western GTA and London and areas in this circle) and be able to travel to attend bi-weekly puppy classes. You must also have the ability to exercise the dog in a safe fenced in space.
Why choose ADS:
- Volunteers are given extensive support during the puppy raising process. As well as bi-weekly puppy classes, volunteers will also be matched with a trainer who will provide 1-1 support in the home and on public outings.
- Puppy classes are held on two different nights of the week in two different locations.
- ADS has an extensive puppy sitter program which allows you to have the puppy stay with an approved puppy sitter for an evening, weekend or period of weeks if you need a break, are travelling or have personal or work circumstances that require your full attention for a period of time.
- We have opportunities for volunteers to work with older pups (6-12 months) as opposed to beginning with an 8 week old puppy for those who would prefer to work with a slightly older puppy.
Requirements: Foster families are needed to socialize and provide basic training to puppies for up to 12-18 months prior to formal training with ADS trainers. The key purpose of the foster puppy program is to socialize and train puppies to prepare them for their lives as service dogs. Volunteer foster puppy raisers are responsible for taking ADS puppies out in public in their service dog jacket often to expose the puppies to unfamiliar environments such as shopping malls, movie theatres, parks, playgrounds, buses, trains, grocery stores and also around people of different ages, and other animals, etc.
It is critical that foster families expose the puppies to the sights, sounds and smells they will encounter as service dogs. Foster families are also responsible for maintaining puppy health care by scheduling and transporting the puppy to routine veterinary appointments. ADS provides routine veterinary care to all puppies in training at no cost to the foster families as well as food.