A local not-for-profit group is looking for people willing to open their doors and foster a puppy.
The Assistance Service Dogs BC Association, based in Mission, currently has four puppies that are eight weeks old and ready to go to foster homes.
Marie Krzus founded the group in 2013, along with her husband Andy, and has seen the demand for service dogs increase over the years.
They have already placed seven service dogs with special needs children, including two placed with children in Mission, three in Maple Ridge, and one each in Coquitlam and Kelowna.
Having just begun a breeding program, Krzus says they now need good, local homes for the pups to be raised until they are about 12 months old.
“They receive free training over the 12 months that they have the dogs,” Krzus said.
“They start with puppy classes, then to basic obedience, move into intermediate, then move into advanced obedience. So over those 12 months, the family would attend these classes for free and also receive some private training as well with the dog.”
Once the dogs are a year old, they leave the family and receive further training to make them one of two kinds of service dogs – autism service dogs or multi-purpose service dogs.
Krzus explained that autism service dogs are for children or adults with autism while the multi-purpose service dogs are for people with PTSD, psychiatric disabilities, or mobility needs.
While there is an immediate need for four families, Krzus is hoping to find even more people willing to foster puppies in the near future.
“We have another female who is pregnant. She is due anytime next week and we are going to have more puppies. Those puppies will be ready to go to homes in mid-June.”
She’s hoping to have families lined up ahead of time.
All the information about the puppy raising program can be found at http://asdbc.org/puppy-raising, or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-844-900-3647.