Spend time with a puppy and help change someone's life with the help of a trained service dog? Southern California volunteers can do both through Guide Dogs of America's puppy raising program.
Looking for a good way to give back while spending time with puppies this holiday season? Qualifying Southern California volunteers can do both through the puppy raising program through the Guide Dogs of America.
The organization's fall puppies are in need of foster homes this December and January. Foster parents will help raise the babes by getting them familiar and comfortable living in a home setting for the first couple of weeks before accompanying them to training classes, where they learn basic obedience before being paired with a handler.
"Not only will an adorable puppy add immeasurable joy to the holiday season, our volunteer puppy raisers are critical to GDA's mission of helping people who are blind or visually impaired enjoy increased mobility and independence through the use of a highly skilled guide dog," said puppy program coordinator, Stephanie Colman, in an interview with NBC LA.
— GuideDogsofAmerica (@GuideDogsGDA) October 24, 2017
In order to qualify as a foster parent through the puppy program, interested volunteers must meet certain criteria. Some details are typical for any new puppy parent, while others are specific to the needs of a future working dog, which include going to work with their foster parent, and attending weekly training classes, meetings, and special events.
While raising a future guide dog is not exactly an easy task (is raising any puppy, though?), Guide Dogs of America assures anyone interested that it's an investment worth making for the right person.
"There's nothing like watching a blind person working with their trained guide dog," said Colman.
"So many students come to class hesitant and unsure, but then we see them standing tall and proud with their dog at their side. Graduation is an emotional day for everyone."
For more information on the Guide Dogs of America puppy raising program, visit them online here.
Will you volunteer? Do you know someone who would like to? Tell us in the comments!
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