Becoming a Puppy Raiser is one way to volunteer. Other opportunities include assistance from painters, carpenters, plumbers, individuals capable of doing odd jobs, yard work, mailings, tour guides, playing with puppies at the Canine Housing Unit and much more. Maybe you could assist in driving less mobile friends to events and graduation ceremonies.

If the work of our organization speaks to your heart and motivates you to share information about it, then maybe you would like to make presentations on our behalf at clubs, libraries or organizations. If you are a veterinarian, then the opportunity to volunteer your services for check ups and medical needs for the puppies exist.

If you would like to volunteer or want to learn more, please contact the KSDS office at 785-325-2256 or email us. There are opportunities for all ages.

Puppy Raisers

What is a Puppy Raiser?

Puppy raisers are a special group of volunteers.  They are responsible for taking an eight week old puppy bred through our stringent breeding program into their home.  They teach the puppy basic obedience, house and public manners as well as socialize the puppy to a variety of environments.  At approximately four months, the puppy will receive a KSDS puppy cape to wear while in public.  Depending on the state’s law, the puppy will have varying public access.  When the puppy reaches the appropriate age (varying from 16-20 months), it will be returned to the KSDS campus for formal training where it will learn additional skills to become a guide, facility or service dog.

Puppy raisers can be families or individuals.  They are special people who put other’s needs before their own and love people and animals.  Puppy raisers are given the opportunity to meet the graduate with whom the dog is partnered.  They also receive the privilege of presenting the new team to the general public at graduation.


Puppy raisers are required to spay and neuter the puppy at four to six months of age and maintain a vaccination program.  All expenses are the responsibility of the puppy raiser, but many veterinarians reduce or donate fees since it is a puppy in training to become and assistance dog.  Puppy raisers must fill out monthly puppy reports and send them to the Puppy Raiser Manager to monitor the puppy’s progress.  Flea and tick prevention as well as Heartgard must be given to the dog on a monthly basis.  Thanks to our sponsors, these products are donated for the puppies in training and don’t cost the puppy raiser anything.  Also provided by our main corporate sponsor, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, the puppy raiser will receive dog food delivered to their door free of charge.  The puppy should be fed the provided food.  People food is not allowed.

How to Apply

Click the link below to print, complete and mail the puppy Raiser Application back to KSDS.

Puppy Raiser Application

For more information, contact Deb Tegethoff, Puppy Raiser Manager at 785-325-2256, ext. 106 or 

Did you know?

  • KSDS has had puppy raisers in 16 different states! See the blue states in the map below.

  • Most new puppy raisers say the reason they found out about KSDS and became a puppy raiser was because they met another KSDS puppy raiser!
  • Less than 15% of every dollar KSDS receives goes to administrative costs. This means over 85% of every donation goes to helping people with disabilities become more independent through canine assistance.
  • KSDS places assistance dogs throughout the United States. KSDS has placed over 500 dogs since its inception with teams in 33 states.
  • KSDS was the first school in the United States to train both guide dogs and service dogs at the same facility.
  • KSDS is very proud to be accredited by Assistance Dogs International.
  • Each litter born is named based on a theme.

Support Groups

Although the Puppy Raisers are spread throughout the United States, they strive to be there for each other. One way they do so is by creating support groups.

There are active groups in a variety of areas in Kansas including Wichita, Lawrence, the Kansas City area, and Manhattan. There is also a support group in Iowa.