Service dog society desperate to fetch volunteers to train puppies

Pacific Assistance Dogs Society, the charity that provides service dogs is expecting a windfall of puppies by the end of the year and it needs volunteers to help raise and train them.

'What it takes is ... to commit the time and the enthusiasm and energy to raising a puppy'

Pacific Assistance Dogs Society is seeking new volunteers to help raise a large number of puppies so they can become service dogs. (CBC)

Things are looking pup for the Pacific Assistance Dogs Society.

The charity that provides service dogs is expecting a windfall of puppies by the end of the year and it needs volunteers to help raise and train them.

PADS spokesperson Tara Doherty says, on the conservative side, an estimated 40 puppies will be born before 2018 ends and they are searching for British Columbians willing to get them ready for their duties.

"We have raisers from all walks of life," Doherty said. "Really what it takes is a willingness to want to commit the time and the enthusiasm and energy to raising a puppy."

Pacific Assistance Dogs Society's dogs work in a variety of settings. (CBC)

PADS dogs work in a variety of roles. Some are service dogs for people with disabilities, some help those unable to hear and some work in care facility settings to provide physical or emotional help to residents.

Volunteers puppy raisers like Brian Dong make sure they are ready for their jobs by raising them for their first 18 months. Dong has been at it for 12 years and has raised six dogs.

"It's amazing how quickly you bond," Dong said. "You pour, literally, your heart and soul into this puppy."

He said the experience is an incredible one that fills volunteers with a sense of pride and accomplishment.

Brian Dong is a long-time volunteer puppy raiser with PADS. (CBC)

It's hard to give the dogs up after those 18 months are up, he admitted, but "it's that dog's destiny. It's what that dog was raised to do."

PADS is hosting volunteer information sessions at its Burnaby offices this fall.

Listen to the full story:

Pacific Assistance Dogs Society, the charity that provides service dogs is expecting a windfall of puppies by the end of the year and it needs volunteers to help raise and train them. 5:43

With files from Caroline Chan and CBC Radio One's On The Coast