A Foster Puppy Raiser helps a person living with a disability by raising a dog that will enhance their independence and quality of life. Foster Puppy Raisers volunteer to raise a PAWS Puppy for 14-18 months, until it’s old enough to begin formal Assistance Dog training. During that time, the puppy lives in a Raiser’s home while they teach basic obedience and expose the dog to public environments it may experience with a client. Here’s a few things a prospective Raiser should know:
We do not require dog training experience, just a willingness to learn
You must be committed to teaching basic obedience and attending obedience classes
You’ll need to expose your Foster Puppy to public environments at least twice a week
We’ll provide you with a team of support to raise the best dog possible for a client
Must live in the areas of: Grand Rapids, Lansing, Saginaw, Southwest or Southeast Michigan; Chicago, Illinois; Columbus, Ohio; or Tallahassee, FL.
Orientations are a great way to learn about the Foster Puppy Program, talk to current Raisers and ask questions of PAWS staff members. Prospective Raisers need to attend one orientation session prior to applying to become a Foster Puppy Raiser. Please RSVP.
February 6th at 6 PM
March 13th at 6 PM
April 11th at 6 PM
May 9th at 6 PM
PAWS Canine Development Center
4646 South Division, Wayland MI 49348
View campus map
February 9th at 6 PM - Wayne County Community College
February 21st at 6 PM - SE MI Regional Office
PAWS Regional Office
1328 Wheaton, Troy MI 48083
Wayne County Community College
Multi Purpose Room
9555 Haggerty Rd., Belleville MI 48111
As you join PAWS on this journey, we want you to know we’re partnering with you from the beginning, every step of the way.
At the PAWS Dog Volunteer orientation or shortly afterwards, you’ll be contacted by PAWS to arrange a home visit. This is our opportunity to answer any additional questions you have and see the environment the dog will be living in. We’re checking to see that it’s a safe, pet-friendly environment. It also allows us to give advice about feeding, crating and letting the dog out as you prepare to host a PAWS Mama or Papa Dog, or a Foster Puppy.
Please note: PAWS’ goal is to have a safe environment for our volunteers. In order to ensure that, PAWS conducts a criminal history background check for all prospective PAWS’ volunteers.
We retain the right to determine whether or not to engage a prospective volunteer who has a criminal history. When making a decision whether or not to allow service by a prospective volunteer with a criminal history, PAWS will consider:
Background checks may take up to two weeks to complete and must be completed by everyone that is 18 years or older living in the household. You are NOT required to complete a background check in order to attend an orientation.
Please bring your Background Screening Authorization form to orientation or send it via email to Julie at email@example.com
Once a Volunteer is approved and a PAWS Dog is available, PAWS will contact you to make arrangements to place the dog in your home.