What is puppy raising?
When raising future guide or assistance dogs, we strongly believe that happy and supported puppy raisers make better trained puppies that are ready to become amazing working dogs and help someone in need.
Volunteer puppy raisers have a big responsibility. They are with the puppies for nearly the pup's entire childhood from around 2-3 months all the way to 15+ months of age. Puppy raisers help the puppy learn basic commands, house manners, and expose the puppy to as many new places and experiences as pawsible. This is the time when the puppy learns how to be a good working dog and how to meet the baseline requirements for the program they are in. After their time with the puppy raiser, the puppy go to intensive training with professional trainers who teach them the specifics of their future job, and are then placed with their new person whom they will be assisting.
In most puppy raising programs, the puppy raisers are all volunteers who are responsible for the care, grooming, and training of the puppy over the year or more that they have the puppy. The raiser is also responsible for attending required puppy training classes throughout each month and must pay for many of the puppy's needs. This includes food, grooming supplies, toys, and other basic necessities. Some programs also don't cover medical expenses for the pup.
Why we were formed
Pawsible was created because we saw puppy raisers going hungry so the puppy could eat. We saw raisers putting themselves out to be able to raise and train these puppies, some going hungry, further into debt, and giving their entire paychecks to these puppies. Every raiser is a volunteer giving an immense amount of time, effort, and love to every puppy they raise, but also a lot of money.
It costs at minimum $400 a year in dog food costs alone to raise a puppy, and many raisers have the dog for a year and a half and/or raise more than one. Costs usually far exceed $400 a year due to food necessities, toys, travel, and other necessary supplies. All costs incurred with puppy raising are tax deductible under the non-profit the individual is raising the puppy for, but many at universities don't make enough to have any tax deductions. Cost is a limiting factor for many puppy raisers and Pawsible Inc. was created to help fill the need.
When the needs of a puppy raiser are met and they are adequately supported, the puppy's skills and learning immensely increase. As puppy raisers, we cannot meet every need of the puppy if we cannot meet our own needs. This includes limiting financial stressors caused by puppy raising to fuel raisers and promote happy raisers and happy puppies.