Putnam Service Dogs is recruiting Volunteer Puppy Raisers to raise a pup, and help change it into a Service Dog. They will be hosting free, informational lunches from noon to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 20, at Mill Plain Diner, 14 Mill Plain Road, Danbury; Saturday, Jan. 27, Putnam Diner, 2600 NY-22, Patterson, N.Y.; and Sunday, Jan. 28, at Yorktown Heights Panera Bread, 6 Triangle Center, Yorktown Heights, N.Y.
Putnam Service Dogs plans to start two new classes of Puppy Raisers in 2018 in February and October. Volunteer Puppy Raisers are expected to attend weekly classes from the time they’re given a puppy of 10 weeks until the puppy is 8 months. When the pup turns 8 months, they’ll attend classes twice a month, led by Putnam Service Dogs’ certified and experienced trainer, Donna Gleason. Starting at age 16 months, PSD’s trainer will take over the training, and will train the puppy to perform the tasks needed by their matched recipient. Raisers will be sharing their home and living with the dog for about 20 months if they make it to graduation.