Service Dog Volunteer Program

At Canine Partners for Life

ATTENTION: Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we are not accepting any volunteer applications at this time. Please check back later for updates!

Volunteers are the backbone of our nonprofit organization. We are extremely grateful for all of our volunteers who dedicate their time and talent to our mission each and every day!

Volunteers are required to be 13 years of age or older.

If you are interested in volunteering with our program, we are currently in need of volunteers to help with the following roles:

Volunteer Puppy Raising

Puppy homes are responsible for raising a CPL puppy in accordance with all CPL policies and procedures.

This includes:

  • Housebreaking
  • Crate training
  • Vet visits
  • Reinforcing good manners
  • Teaching basic obedience commands
  • Socializing the puppy in public locations every day
  • Attend at least two puppy training classes per month (held at CPL)

We ask volunteers to train and socialize puppies during the ages of 2–6 months. For this volunteer role, individuals under the age of 18 must have an adult in the home trained as well.

Download Volunteer Application

Learn More About Our Puppy Raising Program


Temporary Puppy Home VolunteerService Dog in Volunteer Home

Temporary puppy homes provide back-up support for our full-time puppy homes. The time frame can be as short as overnight or as long as several weeks, depending on the individual situation.

Temporary puppy homes are expected to continue the puppy’s training and socialization schedule while caring for the puppy in their home. In the event of a longer stay, the volunteer may need to attend puppy classes.

It is a great way to experience the rewards of puppy raising and make a significant contribution to CPL without making the full three-month commitment.

Temporary Puppy Socialization Volunteer

We are also in need of temporary puppy homes to assist with our Prison Puppy Raising Program.

Volunteers who work with our prison program are trained to take the puppies out of the correctional facilities for a night or weekend to assist with the puppy’s training and socialization in public locations.

We work with the following correctional facilities: MCI‑J, SCI Albion, SCI Greene, SCI Huntingdon, SCI Laurel Highlands, SCI Muncy, SCI Smithfield, SCI Somerset

If you are located near one of these facilities and are interested in volunteering with our Prison Puppy Raising Program, please download our application and apply today!

To be a temporary puppy home, individuals under the age of 18 must have an adult in the home trained as well.

Download Volunteer Application


Whelping VolunteersMom Dog & Pups

Whelping volunteers help with the CPL breeding program by caring for our moms and their litters of puppies during their first eight weeks of life.

CPL puppies are whelped on the CPL facility in Cochranville, PA. Volunteers are responsible for assisting with the care of the moms before and after labor.

This involves:

  • taking the moms out for walks
  • feeding them meals
  • monitoring their health
  • Weighing and monitoring the puppies
  • cleaning the puppy pens
  • and, of course, providing many cuddles and kisses!

Volunteer shifts are typically between 2–4 hours long and volunteer support is needed 24 hours per day.

If you are under the age of 18 and are interested in assisting with this volunteer role, you must have a trained adult volunteer with you.
Download Volunteer Application

Home Companion Dog Training Homes

Home Companion training homes are essential to the success of our home companion program. These dogs serve as well-trained companions for people with a wide range of physical and/or cognitive challenges; often children with autism or senior adults.

While their training protocol is not as extensive as it is for full service dogs, it is critical that home companion dogs have excellent house manners and basic obedience skills.

To ensure that goal is reached, the dogs typically spend 2 to 5 months in a home companion training home, where their behavior can be “fine-tuned” and potential issues assessed and modified. Companion dogs do not have public access rights like full service dogs, so public socialization practice is not required. Home companion dogs are often those with very sweet, patient laid back personalities and make the most enjoyable house guests.

Download Volunteer Application

Transport Volunteers

Transport volunteers assist CPL by transporting our dogs on the go!

A few places our dogs may need a ride are:

  • To and from a veterinary appointment
  • To and from a temp home
  • To the airport
  • To one of our prison programs.

This is a critical volunteer position that enables the trainers and kennel staff to stay focused on their day, knowing that our dogs are being safely transported by one of our volunteers.

Volunteers are welcome to use one of the CPL vans. Since our prisons are a longer drive, for safety reasons we require two volunteers.

Download Volunteer Application

Weekend Dog Sitter Volunteers

Weekend dog sitters work in conjunction with our training staff to give kennel dogs a weekend off — just as we humans get a weekend off!

When volunteers have an available weekend, they contact their assigned trainer, who decides what dog would benefit from a weekend visit.

Volunteers generally pick up their selected dog on a Friday afternoon and bring them back Monday morning. No public socialization is needed; just hosting the dogs at home, taking them for walks, enjoying their company!

Reports completed after the visit help our trainers see how each dog handles time out of the kennel in a home environment.

Download Volunteer Application

Cuddle Time Volunteers

Yes, this is truly a position! Cuddle time volunteers spend time in our comfortably furnished “cuddle room” with one or two of our service dog puppies while the puppies are undergoing their formal service dog training.

Volunteers pet, brush, and massage the dogs, read to them, watch DVDs, sit outside in nice weather, and generally ensure one-on-one personal attention for our kennel residents.

Download Volunteer Application

Dog Walking Volunteers

Walking volunteers take out our service dogs individually from the kennel for leisurely walks around the CPL campus.

Dogs are expected to maintain good leash manners but do not have to be in a formal heel position.

As with cuddle time, walks provide a break for the dogs during the day and help accustom them to working with different handlers.

Dog walking takes place year-round. Enjoy the changing seasons while exercising our dogs!  

Download Volunteer Application

Volunteer at CPL Today!

If you are interested in volunteering for one of these roles, please fill out an application.

If you have questions, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at or (610) 869‑4902 ext. 229.

Please note, if you are a student and are interested in volunteering just for the summer, you need to apply in March or April. It does take over a month to complete orientation and training classes.

Thank you for your interest in our program!

Downloadable Documents

Application for Community Volunteers

Application for Prison Puppy Raising Program Volunteers