“A beautiful learning experience”

The heart of an FSD puppy raiser

Volunteer Annie Casey has been raising puppies for Freedom Service Dogs for just over a year. Her first foster puppy, Sinatra, graduated in December 2019 as a successor dog for Katrina, an active young woman with neurocognitive disabilities. Annie also raised Jester, who returned to FSD in January for advanced training. Like all of FSD’s volunteer puppy raisers, Annie received specialized training, ongoing support, and supplies for her pups during their time in her home. For six to eight months, puppy raisers like Annie provide basic obedience and socialization to their pups, who are crate and house trained prior to being placed with a volunteer.

Says Annie, “Watching these brilliant and inquisitive puppies grow up to be life-changing service animals is such an incredible experience. Every time I tell someone about puppy raising, they say, ‘Isn’t it hard to let them go? I could never do it!’ And yes, it leaves a heartbreaking hole when they leave to continue their training, but working with these puppies is such a beautiful learning experience. They know so much about presence, unconditional love, and joy.”

Freedom Service Dogs needs Denver-area volunteer puppy raisers who will receive special training, ongoing support, and supplies for their puppies. Learn more or contact Puppy Program Coordinator David Neff at 303-922-6231 x212 or [email protected].

Contact Erin Conley at econley@freedomservicedogs.org for all media inquiries.