Interested in including a puppy in your weekend plans?
Weekend Puppy Raisers open their homes to one of our amazing puppies on weekends for the duration of its training. **Positions available in Torrington WY area only**
Some of our puppies are raised in correctional facilities through our Prison Puppy Raising Program. IHDI is honored to work in partnership with Wyoming Medium Security Correctional Facility in Torrington, Wyoming where our pups go at two months of age to live with, and be trained by, Master Inmate Handlers until they are about a year old. During this time the dedicated Master Inmate Handlers provide their pups with love, guidance, and training. Supporting the pups in each stage of their development, working on socialization, good manners, basic obedience and beginning sound alert training, the inmate handlers play a critical role in the successful development of our hearing service pups.
However, because an IHDI service dog will be required to accompany their person in every setting once they are matched, it is crucial for the pups to experience, and become comfortable in, a broader world as they are growing up. And that is where Weekend Puppy Raisers come in.
Weekend Puppy Raisers (opportunity limited to the Torrington, WY area only) take the puppies beyond the prison each weekend for about a year to work on house manners, socialization, and training. These weekends in a home environment ensure that each puppy gets the socialization they need. Weekend Puppy Raisers introduce our pups to sights, sounds and experiences that are not available within a prison setting (like grocery stores, movie theaters, the mall, restaurants, sporting events). They experience typical household activities, settings and distractions. Through their weekend furloughs the pups gain exposure to children, wildlife, cats, travel in cars and buses, bikes, parks, elevators, escalators… all the many things a service dog must be able to comfortably encounter and navigate daily.
Process to become a Weekend Puppy Raiser:
- Read the Weekend Puppy Raiser job description and FAQs
- Fill out a Weekend Puppy Raiser application
- Interview with IHDI's Volunteer Coordinator
- Home visit, conducted by IHDI staff, with ALL people and pets living in the home.
- Background check for all people over the age of 18 in the home ($20 paid by the volunteer)
- Orientation and basic hands-on training class
- Have patience while you wait for your puppy to arrive!
Expectations of a Weekend Puppy Raiser
Weekend Puppy Raisers take the puppies out of prison on weekends in order to introduce the pups to sights, sounds and experiences that are not available within a prison setting and work on house manners, broader socialization and support and strengthen training. Get the full volunteer job description here.
- Provide love, support, safety, training, socialization and an invaluable in-home experience for an IHDI puppy two weekends per month for 10 to 12 months.
- Will be expected to pick up their pups from the prison on Friday afternoon and return them Monday morning.
- Teach the puppy basic skills and appropriate behavior using IHDI’s cues and techniques.
- Promote conﬁdence in the puppy and an eagerness to work through positive reinforcement.
- Follow IHDI’s procedures and guidelines.
- Attend (virtual and in-person) puppy classes once a month.
- Provide age-appropriate outings and experiences for socialization.
- Complete and submit puppy reports in a timely manner.
- Have fun with and enjoy your puppy!