Explore health content from A to Z.
I need information about...
Imagine not being able to open the refrigerator or pick your clothes up off the floor. What if you couldn’t reach the phone to dial 911? These are just a few of the challenges people with physical disabilities face every day.
The goal of Baylor Health Care System (BHCS) Service Dog Academy is to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities by providing specially trained service dogs. To realize our goal, we need dedicated volunteers to raise the puppies until they are old enough to enter our specialized training program. We also occasionally need volunteer puppy sitters.
Raising a puppy for the BHCS Service Dog Academy requires a significant commitment in time, money and affection. But the ultimate value provided by the service dog the puppy will become is immeasurable.
Learn more about becoming a volunteer:
The puppy will be placed with you at eight weeks old and will live in your home for approximately 12 to 18 months. You will then return the puppy to the BHCS Service Dog Academy for four to six months of advanced training.
As a volunteer puppy raiser, you agree to take on the costs* of properly raising the puppy, including:
A puppy must have a suitable temperament and behavior to be considered as a service dog candidate. As a puppy raiser, your goal will be to raise a dog with the following qualities:
Q. I have two dogs already. Can I still be a puppy raiser? A. Probably. It depends on your current dogs’ gender, breed and age.
Q. Veterinary care can be expensive. Does Baylor cover any of the costs? A. No. But because Baylor Health Care System Service Dog Academy is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, your expenses incurred in raising the puppy may be tax-deductible.* Many veterinarians offer discounts for service dogs and puppies in training.
Q. What happens if I become really attached to the puppy? A. You sign a contract agreeing to give the puppy back to BHCS Service Dog Academy at the appropriate time. Even though you will grow to love the puppy, you must remember the individual whose life will be greatly enhanced by his or her service dog.
Q. What happens if the puppy is not able to complete the advanced training? A. If a dog is released from the program, the program director will see if the puppy is appropriate for any other type of service work. If not appropriate, the puppy raiser will be given the option to take the dog back as a pet. If you decide not to take the dog back, BHCS will find a good home for the dog.
Q. Will I get to meet the person who is given the service dog? A. Yes! The puppy raiser will present the dog to the new guardian at graduation.
Copyright © 2013 Baylor Health Care System All Rights Reserved. | 3500 Gaston Avenue, Dallas, TX 75246-2017 | 1.800.4BAYLOR