Volunteer Puppy Raisers Needed for Nonprofit Service Dog Organization

Volunteer Puppy Raisers Needed for Nonprofit Service Dog Organization Volunteer Puppy Raisers Needed for Nonprofit Service Dog Organization

Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers, or “SDWR”, is a 501c3 non-profit organization based in Virginia, that is seeking volunteer puppy raisers to assist the organization in the vital work it does to fulfill its mission. SDWR has placed over 600 service dogs to adults and children with invisible disabilities such as Diabetes, Autism, Seizure Disorders and PTSD. There are currently over 400 families waiting to receive their highly skilled service dogs and on-going field training. All of the dogs in our service work are Labrador or Golden Retrievers, and in medical necessities Doodles can be placed with doctor's approval. 

Volunteer Service Dog Raisers are vital to the growth and training required for each future service dog at SDWR. After the puppy has been fully vetted and vaccinated, service dog in training raisers receive their puppy when it is approximately four months old. The puppy raiser keeps and trains the dog for approximately 14 to 18 months. A puppy raiser is responsible for teaching their puppy good behavior, both at home and in public, and expose the puppy to what to expect and accept in their busy surroundings. Puppy raisers take SDWR's future service dogs to work, restaurants, on vacations, shopping centers, school, and everywhere else. Thanks to applicable state laws and with the specialized vests they wear, these service dogs in training can go where family pets aren’t allowed. This real-world training prepares our service dogs for the experiences they need to successfully help become the best service dog possible for SDWR clients.

Training a future service dog is a great opportunity for teachers and those working with special education children. Ashley, a middle school special education teacher and SDWR puppy raiser, has witnessed tremendous growth from her former students when they had assistance from their service dogs. "Being able to take my service dog in training to work with me has helped many of my current students learn how to interact with a service dog and gain confidence to do more things independently," Ashley says with her future service dog in training, Jack.

The Service Dog in Training and Puppy Raiser Program requires a great deal of commitment, time, energy, and focus from our volunteers. Bi-weekly online check-ins and training sessions every quarter are required as well. SDWR raisers are also expected to share posts 3 times a week on the SDWR Volunteers & Service Dog Raisers Facebook Page in order to share their experiences with fellow raisers and the public. As a puppy raiser, you will help the organization determine if the puppy is suited to a career as a service dog.

You can help the organization unite people in need with trained service dogs in this powerful program.  You can raise a dog and change a life!  Visit our website to review frequently asked questions at http://www.sdwr.org/service-dog-raiser-program/service-dog-raiser-faq/ to learn more or complete an application at http://www.sdwr.org/service-dog-raiser-program/​. If you have any questions about our program, you can email Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us at 540-543-2307. 

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