It takes a village to raise a puppy and we depend on volunteer support to make it happen! If you are interested in volunteering with us, check out the opportunities below, and Apply Here.
Puppy Coach - Raise a Valor Service Dog
Are you looking for the ultimate volunteer experience? Have you always wanted to do more and just didn't know how? Raising a Valor Service Dog is a fulfilling volunteer experience that will allow you to directly impact the life of a very deserving wounded veteran.
We get our service dogs in-training as puppies and from the age of 12 weeks to 2 years old they are placed with a dedicated foster parent (you!) who raises, loves and trains them to be a mobility and PTSD service dog. We call these wonderful volunteer foster parents a “Puppy Coach”.
Puppy Coaches bring their service dog in-training to class each week to the VSD headquarters in Dover, FL. There, the Puppy Coach and the service dog in-training learn all that they need to know in order to practice at home. The fun part about raising a service dog in-training is that they have full public access and are expected to spend all of their time with their coaches, whether it be during work, at home, running errands, events, vacation, etc. Now you can be the person walking through the mall with an adorable service dog!
The role of being a Puppy Coach requires a deep commitment, but the rewards are life changing. At the conclusion of training you will see all of your hard work pay off as your dog transitions into its new role as a partner and best friend to a very deserving wounded veteran.
What does it take to raise a Valor Service Dog?
- A passion for supporting veterans
- A love for dogs
- Work/home life that’s conducive to having a dog with you everywhere
- 2 years of commitment
- Ability to attend 1-2 hour training classes in Dover, Florida, 1X per week
- Willing to do at-home command practice (10-15 minutes daily)
- Willing to fill out a monthly status report
- Ability to routinely exercise the dog via walks or swimming
- Ability to make occasional trips to our veterinarian in South Tampa
We will be with you every step of the way!
VSD has puppy sitters available for the occasional fill-in if a Puppy Coach is going out of town, has a work event or a commitment where the puppy can’t accompany them.
All costs are covered! Valor Service Dogs covers all costs associated with being a Puppy Coach (including food, trips to the vet, a crate, toys and miscellaneous supplies) so that expenses aren’t a burden to our Puppy Coaches.
Puppy Sitters step in in the event that one of our puppy coaches is either traveling, on vacation, or just needs a break (puppies can be a lot of work!). We look for people that live near Tampa, Florida, and who are available on weekdays and weekends.