Volunteering for ICAN

Volunteers play a vital part in helping ICAN achieve its mission to provide assistance dogs to disabled individuals in Indiana. Volunteers are broken down into two areas:
a) General Volunteer (helping with marketing, outreach, events, social media, office help, etc.)
b) Dog-in-Training Volunteer (furloughing a dog, puppy starter, transporting dogs to and from vet, host a whelping in your home).

The following information below, provides further information on what a Dog-in-Training involves. To learn more about being a ''General Volunteer'' please click here.

Help ICAN bring "Puppies with Purpose" into our training program. Become a Whelping Host!

Play a significant role in the breeding program with ICAN by helping us whelp a brand new litter of puppies!    

It is critical for service dogs to have the right temperament and health; and we are in need of caring volunteers to provide a loving home to a breeding female, and to give a wonderful start to her puppies who will go on to provide increased independence to our clients.

We want you to know we will support you from the beginning, and along every step of the way!
Host Families:
1.     Make a commitment to make a home and care for the female dog throughout her breeding career.
2.     Be willing to learn about and whelp puppies in their home.
3.     Preferably reside in Indiana within an hour of Indianapolis.
4.     Provide transportation to and from breeding sessions and medical appointments 
5.     Accept the responsibility for the daily care, food and routine medical requirements of the female dog. ICAN is responsible for all breeding and litter expenses.
6.     Attend breeding and obedience classes at ICAN.
7.     Provide a positive and healthy home environment.

If you are interested in becoming a Whelping Host Family, please contact dino@icandog.org

Interested in working with dogs? Become a Dogs-in-Training Volunteer.

Get hands-on with the pups by becoming a furlough volunteer or puppy starter! A puppy starter helps raise and socialize a pup from 8 to 16 weeks old prior to him/her getting assigned to one of our prison training programs. Furlough volunteers are needed to give our dogs an opportunity to leave their training environment and practice their skills in real-life situations. This is an important part of a service dog's training as primary instruction is provided in Indiana prisons which provides constant training and reinforcement but is somewhat limited to sights, smells, and sounds that are important to a service dog's education.

  • Furlough volunteers assist with socialization of young puppies, exposing older puppies to public environments, dog transportation and more.
  • The time commitment necessary to become a furlough volunteer is roughly 14 hours of orientation classes followed by at least 12 additional hours of continuing education annually.
  • The average furlough assignment lasts 2-3 weeks. During this time, you will take full responsibility for the dog while in your care.

Please note that furlough dogs may not be left with relatives or friends who have not completed training. ICAN dogs also may not be taken to daycare facilities or bark parks. You need to be able to take your ICAN dog to work with you as they should not be crated for more than 4 hours. For their safety, ICAN dogs should also not be left loose in your backyard or house when you aren't home.

Interested in becoming a furlough volunteer or puppy starter? Contact Becky at training@icandog.org.



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