Help Care for the Pups!

Check out our Puppy Raiser and Puppy Sitter programs.

"We've now had Isa for about 6 months, and we consider her a treasure, and feel privileged to be able to help out."
Mike Saatkamp
Volunteer Puppy Raiser

Puppy Raiser Program

Assistance dogs aren’t just born, they are raised.

Volunteer puppy raisers provide a safe home, take them to obedience classes, serve a healthy diet, provide socialization opportunities and give lots of love.

Each hour spent caring for a Pawsitism puppy is vital to their development as a future assistance dog.

Please note: you must be at least 18 years old to be a volunteer puppy raiser. Those under the age of 18 must have a parent or legal guardian as a co-applicant on the application.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please read through the following before continuing with your application process.

  • All dogs in the program will be Golden Retrievers, or Golden-doodles which are crosses between a Golden Retriever and a standard Poodle. We ask all volunteer puppy raisers to be flexible regarding gender, breed or color to ensure that every puppy finds a home quickly and efficiently.
  • We have reputable breeders close to the area that we work primarily with. Learn more about our Breeders.
  • You must be at least 18 years old to be a volunteer puppy raiser. If under the age of 18, you must have a parent or legal guardian living in the same household as a co-applicant on the puppy raiser applications.
  • Note puppies can not attend school with children in the household.
  • We strongly prefer that our puppy raiser always have a fenced yard. Volunteer puppy raisers must agree to follow our supervision requirements. Puppies must not be off leash at any time unless in an enclosed area. We do not allow the use of electric fencing.
  • Puppy raisers must set aside time for daily training and attend weekly obedience classes for the duration of the project.
  • Puppies need physical activity in the form of play or walking. Puppy raisers should expect to find at least 25 to 40 minutes of exercise per day. Pawsitism puppies are not allowed to visit public dog parks.
  • Absolutely! Most popular is your gain approval to take the puppy to work. We recommend speaking to your employer prior to fired. The puppy will need regular toileting breaks throughout the day.
  • It’s imperative to the puppies development that supervision and socialization are provided throughout every day. Puppy raisers must either have prior approval to bring the puppy to the workplace or provide an opportunity to bring the puppy to our facility on designated days during the week and weekend. When left unsupervised, Pawsitism puppies should always be in an appropriate size crate.
  • In most cases, the puppy can accompany the puppy raiser application, or can be placed with a sitter that means our criteria. We offer guidelines for age-appropriate travel outings and activities.

Other pets are limited to a household of three dogs not including the puppy raisers puppy. All pets in the home must be well behaved, current on vaccines in over one year of age. There is no policy regarding age and number of children in the home; however, we strongly encourage families with young children to attend a puppy class and/or evaluate carefully the commitment of puppy raising on an individual basis.

  • Each puppy raiser goes through an orientation process and is given a manual. We also provide ongoing staff support each puppy raiser via phone, email, or in person follow up. There is also a great community of support from puppy raisers in the program.
  • Puppies must be exposed or socialist activities of daily life. This could include a come bring the puppy raiser to the workplace, shopping center or other public places. When in public, the puppies were a cape identifying the fact that they are being socialized for special purposes. However, we rely upon the goodwill of merchants and business owners rather than the legal system for gaining public access. You must always receive confirmation that you can take them out once they reach a certain age.
  • We believe in the use of positive reinforcement combined with appropriate corrections. Our puppies are raised by their puppy raisers using multiple training tools that will help for their success.
  • Pawsitism maintains ownership of each puppy and our staff will find a new home for any puppy in need.
  • You and the puppy you raise will take a long journey together! It’s only natural that you will become very attached to the dog. The ability to give up a dog comes from knowing that you’re raising this puppy for a purpose, that the puppy will go and help someone with a disability lead a more social and independent lifestyle.
  • Pawsitism will make an effort to unite the puppy raiser with the assistance dog recipient. If an in person meeting is not possible, will pass along your contact information.
  • There will be no cost to you. Pawsitism will work on providing donations regarding food, supplies, vet care, transportation related expenses while the puppy is in your care.

Become a Puppy Sitter

Puppy sitters care for our pups when our puppy raisers are out of town. They teach basic obedience skills and health manners and socialize our pups to all of the sites and sounds in the world. The puppy raising program is a fundamental part of the journey of a Pawsitism dog; it provides the foundation on which formal service dog training will build.

Please contact us for additional information.