Thank you for your interest in volunteering for Puppies Behind Bars. You must be at least 18 years old and must live in New York City, or within 45 minutes of one of our correctional facilities in New York or New Jersey to participate as a “puppy sitter:”
Please note the following considerations:
2. Attend required four-hour training session. Training sessions are held on a Saturday morning, from 11am to 3:00pm. New York City volunteers train at our midtown office; all other New York State volunteers train in Millerton, New York. New Jersey volunteers train in Clinton, New Jersey. At the training, volunteers will learn more about handling the dogs, about the supplies needed, what commands the puppies know, and how to read a dog’s body language, among other valuable tips.
3. Please note that you must take out a puppy within 30 days of being trained, as we feel this is a safety measure for you and for our dogs. Also for your safety and that of our dogs, you must take a puppy out once per month (for overnight sitters) or twice a month (for day sitters) for four months, in order to remain an active volunteer.
This program is about training future working dogs, either service dogs for wounded war veterans or explosive detection dogs for law enforcement. Please do not get involved in volunteering only to gauge whether your family is ready for a dog of its own. Our dogs are not pets.
Please note that we do not have a pre-set schedule of upcoming training sessions for the year; trainings are scheduled as needed to train more volunteers to provide socialization outings for our pups. It may take a month or a few months before we announce the next training session.
Again, thank you for your interest. Volunteering as a puppy sitter involves a big commitment and can be challenging, but it is also extremely rewarding! Thank you.