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Become a Puppy Raiser Through Susquehanna Service Dogs

Nov 23, 2014 02:00PM ● Published by Kevin

Puppy raisers receive their service dog puppy to raise for 16 months. Photo courtesy of

Susquehanna Service Dogs (SSD), a program of Keystone Human Services, has opportunities for families and individuals to become puppy raisers and learn the art of dog training with a purpose. By welcoming an eight-week-old Labrador Retriever puppy into their home for sixteen months, puppy raisers are laying the foundation for a future service dog—a service dog that will support a child or adult to be more independent in their daily life.

Service dogs provide support to individuals who may have autism, seizure disorder, mental illness, quadriplegia, paraplegia, balance disorder, or hearing loss, as well as veterans returning from war.

Over the next few months, SSD will have several litters of puppies who will be seeking their very own puppy raiser. Puppy raisers love their work, snuggle often with the puppy, provide lots of exercise, are diligent in housetraining, play special games daily, provide lots of car rides, and take their puppy to work, the grocery store, the mall, and other public places.

Puppy raiser families come in many sizes: singles, married couples, those with children, and those who may or may not already have their own pets. No experience is necessary.

Service dog puppies and puppy raisers attend training two to three times each month in the Greater Harrisburg Area, as well as participate in organized social outings throughout the Harrisburg, Hershey, and Lancaster area. Susquehanna Service Dogs also has puppy raising programs in Northeast Pennsylvania and State College. SSD provides 24/7 professional back up for any questions or concerns.

Those interested in becoming puppy raisers are urged to call Rebecca Lamb at 717-599-5920. The puppy raiser application is also available online.

Susquehanna Service Dogs is a program of Keystone Human Services, a nonprofit organization. SSD is accredited by Assistance Dogs International and is considered one of the finest programs in the world. The training facilities for SSD are located in Grantville, Lebanon County.

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