At 8 weeks old, puppies enter our Puppy Training Program. During the next 10-12 month, puppies will work with volunteer Puppy Raisers and members of our Prison Pup Program at Bland Correctional Center to learn basic obedience, socialization, confidence, and beginning task work. All of these skills will lay the foundation for Advanced Training.

Puppy Raisers play a vital role within our organization. By opening up their homes to one of our special puppies, they are helping us provide a service dog to one of the many people in need of assistance throughout our community.

Puppy Raisers attend weekly training sessions, complete weekly and monthly training and health reports, and follow the comprehensive guidelines provided by Saint Francis for the puppy’s safety, health, and training.

We cover most of the costs of raising and training the puppy, including all veterinary care, dog food, and basic equipment. We provide crates, leashes, bowls, collars, a gentle leader, and a vest. Puppy Raisers may expect to purchase some items for the puppy, including toys, approved treats, grooming products, and dog beds.

The goal of puppy raising is to develop the puppy into a mature, dependable dog that is well-behaved, socialized, relaxed, friendly, attentive, and responsive to basic commands.

Interested in Becoming a Puppy Raiser?

If you are interested in becoming part of the journey our puppies go on to become professionally trained service dogs for children and adults with disabilities, fill out our volunteer application today!

Thanks to a generous bequest from Ms. Dorothy Hannaford, we were able to establish a named endowment –

 The Dorothy M. Hannaford Fund,
in honor of Nancy Ruth Patterson
and in memory of Pixie, Skippy,
Macon, and Newby.  

This endowment has been established with the express purpose of providing dedicated funding to help supplement the purchase of puppies to begin training as future Saint Francis Service Dogs.  The many puppies who enter training thanks to this remarkable gift will be featured here as a testament to Ms. Hannaford’s commitment to our mission, generosity, and legacy.