4 Paws for Ability seeks puppy raisers of future service dogs

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Non-profit wants help with puppies.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A nonprofit organization that trains service dogs put out a call today for volunteers to raise puppies.

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Xenia-based 4 Paws for Ability is seeking volunteers who love puppies and want to make a difference through its "Puppy Raiser Program" that puts potential service dogs into a home for basic socialization and obedience training.

When the puppies are between 9 and 12 months, they go back to 4 Paws for Ability for advanced training. Dogs assist children with disabilities and there are programs for veterans who have recently seen combat and lost use of limbs or hearing.

The organization's mission statement is to "enrich the lives of children with disabilities by training and placing quality, task-trained service dogs. ... This provides increased independence for the children and assistance to their families."

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The greatest need is for volunteers to sign up as complete puppy raisers who receive a puppy between 8 and 12 weeks and raise that puppy until its ready for advanced training. Volunteers should live within three to four hours of Xenia.

There also are short-term puppy raiser options, including weekend, evenings and short-term puppy-sitters for those who cannot make a full commitment.

Even though puppy raisers are volunteers for 4 Paws for Ability, there are minimal to no expenses to the family to become a puppy raiser, according to the organization.

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