Our Guide and Assistance Dogs are more than just four-legged friends. They’re highly trained workers, and because of the lives they change, they are heroes in our eyes.
We couldn’t raise these superstars without the large community of hardworking and caring volunteers who work with us. There are many ways to help and there’s no typical volunteer. All you need is a love of dogs and a desire to give back to the community. Join the team!
What is a puppy educator?
Puppy Educator’s care for a See Differently puppy from around 8 weeks of age to 14-18 months, when they will commence formal training as a guide or assistance dog.
The high quality of See Differently’s Guide and Assistance dogs is largely due to our pups being raised in a secure home-environment, where they are also fully socialised and exposed to different environments (noises, smells, people etc.).
Who can become a puppy volunteer?
No problem – See Differently welcomes volunteers from a range of backgrounds and with all kinds of lifestyles; families, singles, couples, those in share-houses and households with pets.
Many workplaces and tertiary education facilities now welcome guide or assistance dogs in training too.
Our dedicated team will work closely with you and your pup to ensure you’re set up to succeed, no matter what your situation.
There are just a few criteria that you definitely need to meet to become a puppy volunteer. You must:
- Live within 1.5 hours of Gilles Plains (this is where our Guide and Assistance campus is)
- Have a valid driver’s license
- Be prepared to take your puppy in training lots of places with you – work, the shops, the beach, to visit friends etc
- Have some secure outdoor space available where your puppy can go to the toilet!
Are there short term opportunities available?
There are short term volunteer options with See Differently. This might also be a good way to start your puppy volunteering journey.
As a See Differently emergency boarder you’ll take care of a pups for short term stays only, for instance when the pup’s permanent puppy educator goes on holiday. Or perhaps take on a bigger pup and become a bed and breakfast boarder. You’ll look after a pup when it starts school at about 14 months of age. You’ll need to do the school drop off and pick up at Gilles Plains and then look after the pup after hours and on the weekends.
More than Guide Dogs
Did you know that as well as training guide dogs for our vision impaired clients, See Differently also has assistance dogs’ programs for Veterans’ with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and for children with autism through our animal assisted therapy program? The puppy you raise will have a very special future ahead of it, changing someone’s life.
Find out more about puppy volunteering
The best way to find out more is to attend one of our information sessions. You’ll meet the trainers and puppies, learn all about the program and can ask lots of questions!
It’s a team effort
If it’s the right time for you to become a puppy volunteer and you qualify with See Differently, as well as a puppy, See Differently will provide you with:
- Group training classes and outings
- Veterinary care and costs
- All food and equipment provided
- Personalised ongoing training support with a Puppy Education Supervisor
- A home for your pup when you are on holiday
- Emergency 24-hour support
If you have any questions about volunteering, contact our friendly team on 1300 944 306