Monday, March 27, 2023

NFA Student Takes on Raising Future Service Dog

Canine Companions, the nation’s first and largest service dog organization, has announced that 16-year-old Jamison Cullen and her family recently began raising a future service dog for Canine Companions. Jamison, of Newburgh, is a junior at Newburgh Free Academy Main Campus.

Puppy Randle is an 11-week-old Lab/Golden Retriever cross who will one day know over 40 professional commands, and be matched with an adult, child or veteran with disabilities free of charge. Randle will be able to open and close doors, turn lights on and off, and pick up dropped items to name just a few.

Randle will be the sixth puppy that Cullen’s family has raised.

Volunteer puppy raisers are critically important to the work of Canine Companions. Volunteers take the pups into their home at eight weeks of age, teaching them basic commands and socialization skills.  The socialization is perhaps the most important because the dogs need to be exposed to all different types of surroundings.

With the special yellow capes they wear, these dogs are permitted to go to many public areas that family pets aren’t allowed. When the dogs reach about a year and a half old, they are returned to the Canine Companions regional headquarters in Medford, NY. They begin six months of professional training with the organizations nationally renowned instructors. After all of this work, they are finally matched with an adult, child or veteran with disabilities. 

Canine Companions is leading the service dog industry so their clients and their dogs can live with greater independence. They provide service dogs to adults, children, and veterans with disabilities and facility dogs to professionals working in healthcare, criminal justice and educational settings. Since their founding in 1975, their dogs and all follow-up services are provided at no cost to clients. 

For more information about becoming a Puppy Raiser, visit or call 1-800-572-BARK.

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