Volunteer | Saint Francis Service Dogs

We would not be able to continue our mission without the tireless efforts of hundreds of dedicated volunteers. We welcome all levels of involvement, and work hard to provide our volunteers with a unique and fulfilling experience.


Puppy/Dog Sitters:  Puppy/Dog Sitters care for Saint Francis puppies and dogs on weekends or for periods of one or two weeks while their regular puppy raisers are on vacation, or to give dogs in training a change of scenery. Sitters help our Saint Francis puppies and dogs by exposing them to new friends and different places.

Puppy Raisers: Puppy Raisers open their homes and hearts to future service dogs, raising puppies for approximately one year, and helping them learn their basic obedience skills before returning them to Saint Francis Service Dogs for advanced training. Puppy Raisers must attend weekly training classes at our facility and, ideally, should live in the Roanoke area or be willing to travel to Roanoke once a week.

Whelping Volunteers: As a Whelping Volunteer, you share your home with one of our mama dogs for the month before and the two months after her pregnancy and delivery.  You care for her during her pre-natal and natal time, and her and her puppies during their first eight weeks.  Saint Francis provides all supplies and guidance you will need and A LOT of support and help throughout the time.  If you interested in whelping, please contact our Breeding Program Manager. Kathy Marr at kmarr@saintfrancisdogs.org

Dog Walkers: We are not currently accepting applications for new dog walkers.  Check back soon!  Dog Walkers are needed on a weekly or substitute basis to walk dogs and puppies living in or visiting our kennels. Dog Walkers provide much needed socialization and exercise to promote overall good health for service dogs in training.

Angel Tree: Area shopping centers play generous hosts to our annual Angel Tree. The Angel Tree is on display from the end of November to mid-December, and helps us collect donations of toys, treats, and gift cards for our puppies and dogs in training. Volunteers help construct and maintain tree decorations, and collect and distribute gifts.

Special Events: Volunteering to assist with a Saint Francis fundraising event is a wonderful way to have a great time while helping us strengthen our organization and mission. Our events could not take place without our army of helpers, and we appreciate each and every one.

All-Purpose Volunteers: Our “all-purpose helpers” are those who are willing to help around our office, or may be interested in more specialized activities like washing crates, planting or trimming bushes, etc.  We will talk with you to find out what you may be interested in. 

Service Projects: If your civic group, scout troop, fraternal organization or business is seeking a cooperative working and learning experience, a project at the Saint Francis Training Center, or for Saint Francis Service Dogs, may be right for you.

Contact us at 540-342-3647 or volunteer@saintfrancisdogs.org for more information or with any questions about volunteering.

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