Dog trainers, animal lovers and pooch aficionados alike are wanted for the task of taking in a puppy to train and raise them as part of Guide Dogs of America - Tender Loving Canines’ puppy raising program.
The organization said it currently has “an urgent need for puppy raisers” in Southern California, including in San Diego.
These aren’t just any adorable puppies (though, they are irresistibly cute). These are pups with a purpose and have a future as a service or guide dog to help veterans, people who are blind or visually impaired and children who have autism.
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Applicants interested in participating in the program are carefully screened to determine if they would be a good fit for the task. Foster families who are assigned a puppy are expected to teach them basic obedience and house manners to them, in addition to socializing them properly.
Those selected to raise a puppy must cover the cost of food, flea/tick preventative measures and one public obedience class. Guide Dogs of America, meanwhile, will cover veterinary costs and host meetings for all San Diego-area puppy raisers.
Potential foster families must consider that the puppies can’t be left alone for extended periods of time and must get permission to take the pooches to work or have someone who can work with the puppy during that time. Homeowners and apartment renters with socialized pets are welcome to apply.
Once puppies grow older and have received enough basic training with their foster families, participants must bid their farewells to the pups as they enroll in formal training to be a guide or service dog.
For more information on the application and its requirements, click here.