Community Puppy Raising Program

We recently made some changes to our puppy raising program to best take advantage of the various developmental stages of the puppies and to offer more flexibility to our volunteer puppy raisers. All CPL puppies will now start out in community homes from 2 months until 5 months of age. This time period is critical in terms of socialization and the puppy raisers will focus on socialization as well as some basic obedience training. At 5 months of age, all puppies go to one of the 8 prisons participating in our Prison Puppy Raising program. For the next 6 months, inmate raisers focus on training new obedience commands. At 11 months of age, puppies will return to community homes until they are ready to start their formalized training at CPL, around 14 months of age. These time frames are only a guide and some puppies may remain in community or prison longer depending on their individual needs.

Community puppy homes are a key element of CPL’s program and they devote a huge amount of time, patience and dedication. Puppy homes are responsible for raising the puppy in accordance with all CPL policies and procedures, including housebreaking, crate training, vet visits, reinforcing good manners, teaching basic obedience commands, and socializing the puppy in public locations every day. Puppy homes are also required to attend at least two puppy training classes per month (held at CPL).

If you are interested in raising a puppy for CPL, you have the following options:

  • You can raise a puppy from 2–5 months of age and then finish a puppy from 11 — 14 months of age
  • You can just raise younger puppies from 2–5 months of age
  • You can just raise older puppies from 11 –14 months of age

If you don’t feel that you can commit to three full months, there is the option of becoming a temporary puppy home. These volunteers provide back-up support for our full-time puppy homes. A puppy home may need someone else to care for their puppy due to a travel commitment, illness, or other conflict. In addition, we sometimes need volunteers to provide short term care for CPL puppies being raised in our Prison Puppy Raising Program. 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 and to attend puppy classes in the event of a longer stay. 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.

If you are interested in becoming a community puppy home or a temporary puppy home, please fill out the volunteer application below.

Downloadable Documents