Volunteer - Join the Mission!

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with Patriot Service Dogs! Our mission depends on volunteers.

Our application and information on applying is below, but please read the following information first!

Most PSD volunteers are Puppy Raisers. We offer several options for time commitments, ranging from a year or more to a few days. All raisers are expected to provide a loving home committed to training a service dog for a veteran. PSD covers all of the dog's expenses, but training commitments vary based on the length of time volunteers are interested in raising. Here are the options:

  • Long-Term Puppy Raising (1 year+)
  • Seasonal Puppy Raising (Approx. 4 months)
  • Mid-Term Puppy Raising (1-2 months)
  • Weekend Raising (4 days to 1 week)

We also offer volunteer positions for events and will consider volunteers with special skills relevant to running a non-profit organization on an individual basis, but these positions are limited.

Important: Puppy Raisers must be able to physically manage a large breed dog. All of our dogs are young, large breed dogs. Volunteers help train them when they are still puppies, so they will not be perfect service dogs. Please be realistic about the dogs and your own abilities before applying. Unfortunately, we cannot accept raiser applications from people who cannot safely manage the dogs. If you are unsure of your physical ability, feel free to contact us before applying. 

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WHAT COMMITMENTS DO VOLUNTEERS MAKE?

  • First and foremost, volunteers provide a safe and loving home. That home should be dedicated to training a service dog for a veteran.
  • Volunteers need the time to commit to train a service dog.
  • Volunteers must complete all PSD training education and follow our training methods, even if you've learned different dog training methods with other groups and trainers.
  • Volunteers must follow all PSD rules (e.g., no human food, no harsh corrections, no letting the dog on furniture, etc.).
  • Attend training sessions. This commitment will vary based on the type of raising you're interested in. Training sessions will be held in different locations in Ocala, Gainesville, and The Villages. We will also offer occasional training outings to events and places around Central Florida, these are not mandatory but will be fun!

*Scroll to the bottom of this page for raiser FAQs!

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WHAT COMMITMENTS DOes Patriot Service Dogs MAKE?

  • PSD provides food, a kennel, and necessary gear (bowl, leash, service dog vest). We cover all dog costs.
  • All vet and health care for the dogs.
  • Expert Training and fun training outings in Central Florida.
  • A strong community with an established local organization.
  • Personal attention and support. 

 

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what's unique about psd raising?

  • Because we are a small organization, we are personal. No volunteer and no dog at Patriot Service Dogs is a number or just a name. We do not operate on a rigid schedule because we recognize that all dogs and volunteers are individuals.
  • Our WOOF Prison Program allows us to rotate dogs between our inmate-trainers and puppy raisers. This means that we can troubleshoot and support training with our inmate-trainers. Even dogs living with long-term raisers will go into the prison for periods of time for technical training.
Weekend Raisers
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Have questions? See the FAQ below or contact us!

Email (victoria@patriotservicedogs.org) or call 352-626-2305

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How to Apply:

Step 1: Complete a volunteer application, we have PDF version that can be printed and mailed or emailed and an online application.

Step 2: Phone interview. This will be a chance for us to get to know you a little! PSD is a community, we want to make sure, our community is a good fit for you.

Step 3: Home visit (in some cases, this can be done virtually). We are not trying to judge your home; we just want to see that it will be a safe environment for our dogs. We will need to see where the dog's kennel will be and the area where they will relieve themselves.

Step 4: Online video class. We will send you a link to our "Raiser 101" class. It will introduce you to PSD and get you started with the basics of raising a service dog. We will also provide you with our raiser manual and other training material.

Step 5: We match you with a dog or puppy! We do our best to match personalities and living situations to create the best team. Some programs, like Service Dog Summer School, will have an orientation meeting.

If you are a part of a group, club, school or other organization interested in working with Patriot Service Dogs, please contact us to see how we can work together! We are always looking for ways to reach the community.

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Raiser FAQS:

  • Who are we looking for?

We are looking for people willing to give their love, time, and commitment. Couples, families, and single people are all welcome! Households with pets are welcome, but no more than two dogs.

*Applicants must be able to physically manage a large breed dog.

  • Can I pick which dog I raise?

No. We will match raisers and dogs based on the home situation and the dogs’ personalities.

  • Do I need dog training experience?

No, just a willingness to learn! If you do have previous dog training experience, we will expect you to follow our rules and methods, even if they differ from what you’ve previously been taught.

  • What if I can’t take a dog for the whole time or will be away during part of that time?

We are happy to work with volunteers and their schedules. For example, if you're going on vacation, we will schedule the dog to go for training in our WOOF prison program.