Think you can’t raise a puppy? Think again!

It’s no secret that FSD urgently needs more volunteer puppy raisers so we can continue to transform lives by partnering people with custom-trained service dogs. Maybe it’s something you’ve considered, but you think you’re not in the right situation to help out. Too busy? Too expensive? No yard? No dog training experience? Kids or other pets in your home? No worries! We’ve collected the most common reasons why people think they can’t volunteer to raise an FSD puppy—and why we say, “Yes, you can!”

It would be too hard to give the puppy back to FSD.

We’re not gonna lie: It can be hard. But many of our puppy raisers come back for a new pup each time their former puppy returns to FSD for advanced training and matching with one of our clients in need. Why? Because it’s fun. It’s a great way to meet new people and make new friends. And it’s incredibly rewarding.

I don’t live in Colorado.

While we most urgently need puppy raisers in the Denver metro area, we have puppy raisers throughout Colorado and across the country. If you’re interested in raising a puppy, no matter where you are, please contact us and we’ll talk about it!

I’m too busy to raise a puppy by myself.

No problem! We offer the option to co-raise a puppy so that you can share the fun and responsibilities of raising a puppy with an approved and trained friend, family member, or neighbor who wants to help out.

It’s too expensive to raise a puppy.

FSD provides all puppy raisers with food, vaccinations, medical care, collar, leash, crate, various toys, treat pouch, clicker, and a service dog trainee vest—completely free of charge!

I live in a house without a fenced yard.

We welcome puppy raisers who live in homes without a fenced yard, as well as in apartments, townhomes, condos, etc.

I travel frequently.

FSD encourages raisers to travel with their puppy when the pup is ready and travel is feasible. Additionally, FSD has a list of volunteer puppy sitters who can take care of your puppy if you are going out of town or just need a weekend break.

I’ve never had a dog before.

As long as you are willing to learn, complete our orientation and onboarding process, and follow our puppy-raising curriculum, you are welcome to become a puppy raiser and experience all the joy, love, and rewards of raising and training a puppy in your home.

I don’t have any dog training experience.

No worries! We provide orientation, onboarding, a comprehensive puppy-raising curriculum, and ongoing support from FSD staff and your fellow puppy raisers throughout the entire experience.

I have other pets.

Many puppy raisers have other dogs (over 1 year old), cats, birds, chickens, or reptiles. Your pets must be able to cohabitate with the puppy and get along after the initial introductory period.

I have children living at home.

Many of our puppy raisers have children who enjoy helping to raise a puppy while learning about responsibility and giving back to others. It is best if the children are old enough to understand and follow FSD’s guidelines for raising a puppy so that the puppy’s training and socialization is consistent among family members.

Convinced you CAN do it? Click here to apply to become a puppy raiser for FSD today!

Contact Erin Conley at for all media inquiries.