Questions on the Weekend Puppy Raiser program? We got answers!
IHDI's Weekend Puppy Raiser program (currently limited to the Torrington, WY area only) is a unique partnership, naturally, we understand that questions about how it works come up. To aid in assessing whether the Weekend Puppy Raiser may be right for you, we've compiled common questions and answers below. However, any questions are welcome. We're happy to fill in any blanks. Contact us or call us at 303-481-2370.
Will I have to buy food/equipment for the puppy?
IHDI will provide much of the basic supplies for the pups including food, bowls, leash/harness/collar, crate, bed and chew toys as well as all veterinary expenses. Weekend Puppy Raiser will be expected to buy training treats for the pups.
How much contact will I have with the Master Inmate Handler?
You will not have any direct contact with any of the Inmate Handlers. Reports may be shared by the staff with the Master Inmate Handlers about the pups experiences and behaviors on the weekend.
What breeds of dogs do you use?
IHDI uses various breeds including Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Doodles and mixed breed rescue dogs.
I already have a dog/cat, can I still be a Weekend Puppy Raiser?
Yes, we want our pups to be exposed to dogs/cats. However, our staff will need to meet your animals when we do our home visit to determine if the introduction of a service pup in training is a good fit.
I have children, can I still be a Weekend Puppy Raiser?
Yes, we want our pups to be exposed to children. However, in order to ensure the safety of the children and our pups, we typically ask that there are not any children under the age of 8 in the household.
Can I share the responsibility of raising a puppy with someone else?
Yes, we encourage two households to team up and share in the Weekend Puppy Raising. We find that such an arrangement tends to be a great for the Weekend Puppy Raisers and pups alike.
Can I take the pup to the dog park?
No, we do not allow any IHDI puppy/dog to go to dog parks. There are many factors that make dog parks unpredictable and potentially dangerous for our dogs. Further, dog parks are very poor environments for any dog in training. Consequently, dog parks are absolutely off limits.
Can I bring my puppy to daycare/boarding?
No. The time the puppy spends with you on the weekends is very purposeful. The goals and objectives intended for a puppy with the Weekend Puppy Raiser can not be accomplished in a dog boarding or daycare setting.
Do I need a large yard to become a Weekend Puppy Raiser?
No, you do not need a yard to be a Weekend Puppy Raiser. However, you do need to ensure adequate potty breaks and exercise. The pups must ALWAYS be on a leash if not in a fenced yard.
What happens at the end of a dog’s training?
Once a pup has completed its puppy raising at the prison and with its Weekend Puppy Raiser, the pup will return to IHD for advanced public access and sound alert training. As the dog progresses, it will be matched with its d/Deaf partner. Once the dog has completed its training, the dog/partner team will come together for eight days of Team Training that culminates in the team’s public access and sound alert testing and service dog certification.
Can I adopt the IHDI dog if they do not complete their training?
Possibly. It depends greatly on why the dog was not able to complete its training and be matched. Sometimes a dog may not be able to be matched as a hearing service dog but is able to career change to a different service option like a facility support dog or a professional therapy dog.
What’s the next step to become a Weekend Puppy Raiser?
Complete and submit an on-line application here and you will be contacted by IHDI soon!