Are You Thinking About Becoming a PALS Puppy Raiser?

Before making this decision, please consider the following:   

Opal getting a massage from puppy raiser Rachael

Opal getting a massage from puppy raiser Rachael

  • Would you like to increase the independence of an entire family of a child with autism?
  • Would you like to help a child find his/her “forever friend”?
  • Would you like to help a child increase his/her academic self-confidence by assisting in the training of a service or facility dog?
  • Would you like to help a child with autism bridge the social gap at school and in the community?
  • Can you attend regular training classes and field trips?
  • Are you willing to take a service dog-in-training everywhere with you to increase the puppy’s training and socialization, including work or school?
  • If you are renting, will you landlord agree to you raising a PALS puppy?
  • Do you have a safe area to toilet and exercise the PALS puppy?
  • Are you ready to open your heart and home to a PALS puppy?
  • Are you ready to open your heart to a child with autism or to many children who will benefit from a facility dog placed with a special education professional?

Qualifications of a Puppy Raiser:

  • You must live within a one hour driving distance from Santa Rosa, California
  • You should have a strong desire to help a child with autism
  • You must have a safe area to toilet and exercise the PALS puppy
  • You must follow the guidelines of PALS’s Puppy Raiser Manual
  • You must attend regularly scheduled training classes, field trips, take the puppy to work/school, on errands, etc., and turn in monthly puppy progress reports
  • You must have time to train the PALS puppy on a daily basis
  • The entire household must be willing to take part in the raising and training of the PALS puppy

What is a Puppy Raiser’s Role?

Hana checking out a ghost, what is talking to her!!

Hana checking out a ghost, what is talking to her!!

A puppy raiser’s role in puppy raising a PALS puppy is a crucial part of our mission of “Special PALS for Special Needs.” Whether you are a full-time raiser who takes the puppy to and from work or school daily, are raising the puppy to be returned to the organization at a later date, are a weekend/holiday raiser or a respite provider, your participation requires:

Ensuring that the puppy receives additional, vitally necessary socialization and exposure to different sights, sounds, smells, surfaces, situations, stimuli, and experiences. This is a key component in raising confident, well-adjusted puppies and service dogs who are not fearful and who behave appropriately in public.

Attending training sessions, field trips and filling out monthly reports on the puppy’s progress. This benefits you by giving you a chance to meet and interact with other Puppy Raisers, problem-solve and improve your handling skills. It also keeps the Puppy Raiser Manager informed of the puppy’s progress and gives opportunities for intervention should any problems arise.

Reinforcing the puppy’s training by using the same cues and commands at home that the puppy is taught in class or should be learning. During your Puppy Raiser classes, you’ll be provided guidance in developing your handling skills.

Keeping the puppy healthy, safe, and happy. It is expected that you will use a local veterinarian for any emergency veterinarian care the puppy may require while in your home. You will provide routine veterinary care, heartworm medication and flea preventative while the puppy is in your home.

Ensuring that the puppy is delivered to and from training classes at the correct times.

PALS provides some basic equipment: ID card, the loan of a crate, cape, harness, business cards and brochures. You are expected to provide other equipment as needed, including food, bowls, leash, appropriate toys, grooming equipment, etc.

Ready to Become a PALS Puppy Raiser?

To download and print a Puppy Raiser Application, please click on the link below. Once the application is completed, please mail it to: Paws As Loving Support Assistance Dogs, 7580 Covey Road, Forestville, CA, 95436 or fax it to 1-707-887-7257. Upon review, you will be contacted to set up an in-home interview to answer any questions and to review PALS puppy raiser policies and responsibilities. Once you have been approved, we will place one of our puppies with you. If all of our puppies are in puppy raiser homes, you will be put on our waiting list. Occasionally, we need back-up puppy raisers to foster puppies for a weekend or one to two weeks. Thank you for your interest! 

Puppy Raiser Application

Puppy Raiser Monthly Reports