Every assistance puppy is reared and socialized by a loving volunteer puppy foster families for the first 12 - 15 months of their training journey. Each caring foster family takes an assistance puppy into their hearts and into their homes for up to 6 months (age range of puppy you would be fostering would depend on your own situation and would be determined at assessment stage), bringing the puppy up under the guidance of our Puppy Foster Care Supervisor. All veterinary, food and puppy equipment is provided for and you are supported every step of the way.
Each puppy is taken out to all types of environments and attends regular training to help prepare it for life as an assistance dog. The puppy wears a red jacket as identification and has access to public places. Puppies can’t be left alone for more than 2-3hours so you would need to commit to taking the puppy with you when your out and about. Ideally someone would be at home most of the day however we are trialing a program where puppies can accompany their fosterer to work. In order for this to be successful your employer would need to be on board to work with us to ensure a suitable environment and a workplace assessment would need to be carried out. All of this is done to ensure that the puppy's future career as an autism assistance dog is a success.
If you think that you could give your heart and energy to this amazing and rewarding role, if you could commit a couple of hours every day to training a puppy to be a life line to a child with autism and their family, then we would love to hear from you.