An organization that breeds and trains service dogs says it desperately needs more volunteers in Calgary to help raise and train them.
BC & Alberta Guide Dogs relies on volunteers to raise puppies up to two years old with the help and guidance of specialist puppy trainers.
They play a vital role in connecting dogs with people in need. But the organization says there aren’t enough volunteers and more yellow lab puppies are expected to arrive in Calgary by the end of the month.
“Without volunteers, we are unable to serve customers, and we have a waiting list of over two years,” said Sandra Cramer, the organization’s puppy raising supervisor.
Cramer says time and patience are the two big skills they need in volunteers.
“We provide the training and guide them through the process. You get the puppy when he’s about eight weeks old, and he lives in your home with you for about a year and a half to two years, when he’s ready to go. advanced training,” Cramer said.
Volunteers do not need any experience and receive monthly training and evaluations.
Cramer says being a volunteer is best suited to people with flexible work schedules, part-time workers, and people who aren’t working and are looking for more meaning in life.
“We are desperately looking for homes for the puppies who will be arriving in about three weeks, so they can continue to help change someone’s life,” Cramer said.
Volunteer Carla Weber says anyone with a passion for dogs or volunteering should consider it.
“We all help each other, it’s like a big community. It’s all about the dog and what’s going to be what you know right now because you’re learning a lot,” Weber said.
“It’s never easy moving because you get attached to them, they’ve been with you for almost two years. But for me and my family, it’s about what the future holds for this pup,” Weber said.
“It’s going to make a difference in someone’s life and that’s what’s important to me,” she said.