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Puppy Raiser FAQ's

Please carefully read the following before proceeding with the application. 

What is the application process like?

We are accepting applications in all states with the exception of Hawaii and Alaska.

Our application process consists of an application, phone interview and either a virtual home visit or photos of home and yard. If you have other dogs in the home, we will do a dog evaluation.

During the phone interview, we’ll share specifics about puppy raising, expectations for the program puppy and review interactions with your pet dogs. The interview is also a great opportunity to ask any remaining questions you may have.

What happens after a Puppy Raiser is approved?

Once approved, we provide a puppy raising manual and complete an orientation of what to expect and how to prepare for the puppy’s arrival. We’ll also share a timeline of when you may expect to receive a puppy, although this varies based on litter availability.

How do you transport Program Puppies to and from their Puppy Raisers? Am I responsible for transporting them?

Our Breeder Caretakers are throughout the country, and DBL transports our puppies to their Puppy Raisers via air or mobile transports at our expense. We also have some wonderful volunteer transport teams who assist us.

If a puppy raiser is in close proximity to a breeder caretaker’s home, then we would ask the Puppy Raiser to pick up if possible.

The same process applies when it is time for the Program Puppy to return to one of our training campuses. If a Puppy Raiser is near a DBL campus, we ask them to return the puppy to either our Falmouth, MA or Central Point, OR campus.

What expenses do you expect the puppy raiser to take on?  Food? Vet bills? Emergency vet visits? Puppy Classes?

To help us to continue to be able to place Assistance Dogs with our clients free of charge, we ask our puppy raisers to cover the expense of the crate, dog beds, toys, and food throughout the time they are raising the puppy.

DBL provides Puppy Raisers:

  • A leash, collar, vest, and gentle leader for each puppy. Additionally, we upgrade to larger sizes as the puppy outgrows them.
  • If the puppy raiser is able to pay for puppy classes, vaccines, preventative meds, and minor vet expenses, we are greatly appreciative. However, we also offer a subsidy program where a puppy raiser can apply and be reimbursed for those expenses.
  • In the event of an emergency, an exorbitant, or unexpected medical expense, DBL will cover those medical expenses for all puppies being raised, regardless of participation in the subsidy program.

Are there specific food requirements for Program Puppies?

Dogs for Better Lives feeds all of our dogs Purina ProPlan. Program Puppies are expected to be fed Pro Plan for the duration of their time in the program, unless communicated otherwise by our Puppy Program Team.

What kind of communication or experiences are offered to Puppy Raisers after turning into campus? What about if/when the dog is placed with a client?

DBL provides updates to Puppy Raisers about dogs in training on a monthly basis, and Puppy Raisers are able to see what the dog is working on in their training program.

When a dog is matched and placed with a client, we offer the client the option to speak with the Puppy Raiser during placement week. There is also the option, at the client’s approval, to share contact information between client and Puppy Raiser to stay in touch after placement.

What happens if the puppy I raised is Career Changed?

If a DBL Assistance Dog in training has been career changed, we first look to whether there are other working dog organizations that may be a fit for the dog. DBL has relationships with multiple organizations that have programs that our career changed dogs may be suited for. If not, the Puppy Raiser may be offered the option to adopt the dog.

If the Program Puppy is career changed prior to turning into our campuses for professional training, the Puppy Raiser may have the option to adopt.

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