Full-Time Puppy Raisers

NEADS World Class Service Dogs change lives every day, and you can be part of this life-changing story when you join NEADS as a volunteer Puppy Raiser.

Most NEADS Service Dogs are raised in correctional facilities through our Prison PUP Program. The dogs live with inmates in MA and RI prisons Monday through Friday, and volunteer Weekend Puppy Raisers take the puppies out of prison each weekend for 14-16 months to work on house manners, socialization, and maintaining obedience. These weekends in a home environment ensure that our dogs get the socialization they need, like visits to the grocery store, movie theaters, the mall, restaurants, and other typical household activities.

To supplement this program, NEADS has a smaller, but equally vital  Phoenix Full-time Puppy Raiser program, through which puppies live full-time with volunteer raisers for 12 to 16 months. The dog is then moved into a prison facility to finish its Service Dog training or is chosen as a Breeder Dog.

Full-time Puppy Raisers are responsible for socialization and basic obedience training of NEADS Service Dogs in Training. They have the NEADS dog in their care 24/7 for 12 to 16 months.

NEADS P4P 2018 (21) copy

Are You Ready?

We are looking for young families, couples, retirees, and single individuals who are able to devote the time, energy and love necessary to successfully socialize and train a NEADS Service Dog in Training.

Before you apply to become a full-time raiser for one of our adorable, energetic puppies, please consider what NEADS needs from you.

The dog cannot be left alone as a puppy. As the puppy gets older, the time they are left alone can gradually increase to a maximum of 3-4 hours. The NEADS dog may go to work with you, with your company's and NEADS approval.

Other requirements include:

  • Attending 1-2 weekly training sessions with a NEADS trainer, taking place both on and off campus
  • Caring for the NEADS dog 24/7
  • Submitting weekly progress reports in a timely manner
  • Practicing training and socialization exercises as directed by the NEADS trainer
  • Providing adequate daily exercise as recommended by the NEADS trainer
  • Providing a safe, healthy and loving environment for the dog

Weekend Puppy Sitter, Weekend Puppy Raiser, Full-Time Puppy Raiser

Which role is right for me?

Weekend Puppy Sitters

  • Pick up/Drop off: NEADS Campus, Princeton
  • Commitment: 1 weekend per month
  • Dog: Different puppy each weekend you volunteer
  • Classes: N/A
  • Socialization:
  • Training:
  • Application: Program currently full

Weekend Puppy Raisers

  • Pick up/Drop off: Prison
  • Commitment: 3 weekends/month for 12-18 months
  • Dog: Same dog every weekend from same prison
  • Classes: 1 class/month taught by the Puppy Program Assistant
  • Socialization: 4-6 field trips per weekend, guided by NEADS socialization protocols
  • Training: Maintain the obedience that the dog has learned in prison
  • Application: Online

Full-Time Puppy Raisers

  • Pick up/Drop off: N/A
  • Commitment: 12-16 months of having the NEADS dog full-time
  • Dog: Same dog 24/7
  • Classes: In the beginning, 2x/week at or around NEADS. This reduces to 1x/week over time
  • Socialization: Dog accompanies you as part of your daily routine, guided by NEADS socialization protocols.
  • Training: Works with NEADS staff to implement training
  • Application: Online