There are 30 puppies in the Grande Prairie area that need your help so they can one day help someone else. Communications and Marketing with Dogs with Wings Emily Hendsbee says the pups are usually labrador retrievers and they would spend the year in a volunteer foster home before going to Dogs with Wings to become an assistant dog.
“The dog is with you all the time. Because they are puppies, they need to be watched and attended. They are kind of like having a kid.”
The Dogs with Wings service dogs start being socialized from day one which can include cuddles and hearing fireworks.
“The puppy goes with you if you are going to a restaurant, the grocery or going to the Canada Day fireworks. The ultimate goal is for the puppy to have social skills to behave in any manor before they come to school at Dogs with Wings.”
Hendsbee says it is all to make sure the dog won’t be reactive when they are with a client as an adult.
There are five categories that the adult dogs are used in. These include guide dogs, service dogs for those in wheelchairs, autism service dogs, companion dogs, and facility dogs for schools or that help victims in court. The puppy program is the first step in the training.
The puppy would go to school from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. during the day and go back to the volunteer’s home at night.
If interested, you can call 780-944-8011 and the volunteer coordinator can be contacted at [email protected]
A set of puppies will be ready to be fostered in about 8 weeks as one of the service dogs is ready to have puppies this week.