Susquehanna Service Dogs Seek Puppy Raisers
Susquehanna Service Dogs (SSD), a program of Keystone Children & Family Services, breeds, raises, trains and places assistance dogs to support individuals with disabilities. An assistance dog may: pull a manual wheelchair, open a door, retrieve items, alert to sounds, offer balance help, or perform other tasks to increase a person’s independence and ability to be involved in their community.
SSD Puppy Raisers are the amazing and irreplaceable volunteers who raise these “service-dogs-to-be” from the age of eight weeks preparing them for advanced training at 15 to 18 months. Puppy Raisers provide a safe and loving environment, healthy routines, basic training and socialization opportunities. Of course all of this is done under the guidance of a SSD Trainer. Puppy Raisers are asked to attend 2 to 4 training sessions per month located in the Harrisburg area. Training includes instruction classes, lectures and outings to various public arenas.
SSD provides the puppy raiser with puppy, crate, bowl, leash, collar with ID tag, harness, annual dog license, veterinary care, training advice and puppy sitters. The puppy raiser provides a positive environment, enthusiasm for training, transport to vet appointments and a good quality dog food. Your puppy becomes part of your family and your life for the 12 to 18 months you guide them toward success as a service or therapy dog. You are encouraged to take the puppy with you everywhere. Your puppy can accompany you to work, to the grocery store, to church, etc. They will follow the routine of your life just as they will do when they are partnered with their lucky person. Service dogs are permitted in all public places by law just as Seeing Eye dogs are. What fun you will have and just think of all the things you will learn.
Please consider letting a puppy into your life for the good of others and for your family. It is an amazing, wonderful experience. Past Puppy Raisers are available to consult with you in making your decision.
Susquehanna Service Dogs is a program of Keystone Children & Family Services a not for profit organization. SSD receives some funding as a program of the United Way of the Capital Region, the balance of the funds to operate this life changing work is provided though donations by the caring public.