Puppy Fosterers Urgently Needed in Munster & Dublin!
Volunteer puppy fosterers, boarders and our breeding dog holders play a very important role in helping us achieve our mission. Puppies and dogs thrive in a home environment so we do not have or use kennel facilities. This also means we can keep our overheads as low as possible allowing us to utilise more of our rescources into delivering our mission.
PLEASE NOTE: At the moment we are only operating our puppy foster care programme in the Munster & Dublin regions. With new puppy litters recently arrived, we have an urgent need for puppy fosterers in these regions.
What does puppy fostering involve?
Puppy fostering involves taking a puppy at either eight weeks of age for 6 months or for the second part at 8 months till they are approximately 15 months old. You will care for the puppy with support from our Puppy Supervisor who will teach you the fundamentals of puppy socialisation and simple commands to begin the puppy’s training. You will be preparing the puppy with the skills needed to become a well-rounded dog that will go on to transform the life of a child with autism. The pup wears a jacket and has access to shops, cafes, cinema etc. the more they see and do at a young age the better they will be as an assistance dog.
Who can become a Puppy Fosterer?
As a Puppy Foster volunteer, you look after one of our puppies in your own home. You will need to be able to offer time to dedicate to the training and care of the puppy throughout its time living with you.
- You must be aged over 18, with the stamina and ability to manage an active puppy.
- Ideally you need a safe, enclosed garden but we can look at this at the time of assessment.
- You need to have access to suitable transport to take the puppy to different places for socialising and training.
- You will need to be available for home visits, able to attend training at our puppy classes and committed to following AADI’s training methods.
- Previous dog training experience isn’t necessary but experience with dogs is an advantage, along with good communication skills.
- Could you deal with a puppy that needs house training and will have accidents in the house for the first few weeks whilst being trained? This will mean taking the puppy outside every half an hour during the day and getting up during the night. We do provide a crate to help with house training and support and guidance.
- Could you deal with a puppy that might chew, you will need to make your home puppy proof and move everything out of reach that is chewable e.g. shoes, phones, remote controls etc.
- Could you deal with a puppy that will need time to settle in and during this period may be anxious and bark at night and when left alone. This can be normal for a puppy but will require you to be patient and we can offer support to help ease the puppy through this phase.
What support will I receive?
We cover all costs - vet fees, food etc. and provide all the equipment needed. We would meet with you three to four times a month (roughly once a week) to see how the pup is progressing and give advice when and where needed. So you would need to be able to free up 2 hours a week approx during working hours (mon - fri 9am-4pm) to come and meet the puppy supervisor for a training session/walk. This will likely involve driving to a specified location. Also if you are going on holiday we would organise for the pup to be placed with another family.
Where does the Puppy Raising Programme operate?
We live in a neighbouring county to Dublin - can we still get involved?
At the moment we are only looking for people in the Dublin area so puppies are close to the puppy supervisor to minimise travel. However, we are a growing organisation so we may look to expand our foster scheme further in the future.
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We don't have a car. Are we still eligible to foster a puppy?
It is one of the requirements that you have a car and this is more about getting the pup used to travelling in the car. If you were interested in short term boarding this might suit better.
We live in an apartment - is that a problem?
Ideally you need a safe, enclosed garden. However, an apartment might be acceptable as long as the management company allow for dogs and you have written permission from your landlord (if renting). We will look at all factors at the time of assessment.
I’m not sure I can commit to looking after a puppy for 6-12 months - are there any other options?
As we don't use kennels for our dogs and puppies, we look for kind hearted dog lovers for both long and short term boarding. If you feel a 6-12month commitment is too long as a puppy fosterer, then this could be the opportunity that you are looking for.
Long term boarders
Boarding still involves the same role as the puppy foster carer, ensuring that the puppy is well socialised, living in your home with your family, but boarding can be different lengths of time, depending on what you feel you can genuinely offer
Short term boarders
This is to cover holiday periods for puppies with foster carers and could be for a weekend or one to two week period.
Evening and weekend boarders
This role involves taking care of the assistant dog in training when they are not working. This is usually for evenings and weekends. It is essential that you live close in Little Island, Cork or the surrounding area so the dogs do not need to travel long distances daily. You may be asked to drop and collect the dog you are boarding from our training center in Little Island. Typically the dog would need to be at our training centre every weekday, a bit like school. There is some flexibility regarding drop off and collection times so this opportunity may suit somebody who is working or dropping children to school in the Little Island area.
Breeding dog holders
Why become a Brood Bitch Holder?
Being a brood bitch holder will mean that you get a well socialised dog to live with you as part of your family.
You will be helping us to continue our work by raising more puppies that will go on to be life changers
What does the role involve?
You will have the opportunity to raise litters of puppies under the guidance of our staff.
This is a rewarding but demanding role during the whelping process.
The pups will live in your home from birth to 8 weeks before being placed on our Puppy Foster Care Programme.
You will follow a programme with the pups from 3 days old ensuring they have the best start in life.
What support will you receive?
Regular ongoing support and guidance
We provide all equipment, food, veterinary costs etc
Who can become a Brood Bitch Holder
You do not need to have any prior experience, as all of the relevant support and training will be provided.
However, to care for one of our breeding stock you must meet the following criteria:
- Live in the Munster region
- Be a dog lover and have a calm and caring disposition
- Have time to devote to the brood and her litter. The time needed changes prior to whelping and when she has a litter of puppies
- Have space within the home for the brood bitch and her litter
- Have access to a car and be willing to drive the brood bitch on essential journeys such as vets appointments and pre-mating tests as required