“This is some[what] of a new program for us,” training director, John Drach says, “we need as many people as we can get.”
Dogs for the Deaf needs your help to raise more dogs like Leo, a 1-year-old golden retriever who is training to become an autism assistance dog.
“There’s no specific thing that we require other than you love dogs, you can attend class regularly, and you’re willing to put the time and effort to prepare these dogs for the next step of their lives,” Drach says.
The non-profit is currently accepting applications for foster puppy raisers in the Rogue Valley, ahead of the arrival of two new puppies this spring. Training director John Drach says it’s a year long commitment.
“During that time those foster families, work on things like house manners, and potty training, and making sure the dogs are exposed to all the things they’ll need to be exposed to as an assistance dog,” Drach says.
In addition to caring for the puppies, raisers will attend weekly classes where they’ll get help from the Dogs for the Deaf training staff.
“They are going to learn how to do this,” Drach says, “we don’t just hand them the puppy and say ‘thanks see ya later.'”
And while the puppy’s stay in your home will be temporary, Drach says the memories for foster families last a lifetime.
“People say well ‘I love my dog too much I could never let it go’, and a lot of these raisers will turn and say ‘we love our dog too much to keep it’,” Drach says, “and it can go on to do amazing things for these families.”
Foster homes have included single adults, families with other dogs, and high school seniors completing their senior project. If you’d like to apply or learn more about the foster program click HERE.