Must Love Dogs: Warrior Canine Connection Needs Volunteers to Be Puppy Raisers

A dog being embraced by a military service member.
Sgt. 1st Class Jim Greenhill

Warrior Canine Connection (WCC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to breeding, training, and placing highly skilled service dogs with Veterans who have visible and invisible wounds, is seeking Puppy Raisers in the Asheville area to support its programs.

“For us at Warrior Canine Connection, Puppy Raisers are the heart and soul of our mission,” said Amy Guidash, program director and service dog training instructor, WCC. “These dedicated volunteers in Asheville play a crucial role in preparing our future service dogs to support Veterans. By opening their homes and hearts, they make an immeasurable impact on the lives of Veterans and their families. We are actively seeking volunteers who are passionate about giving back to our Veterans and contributing to this life-changing work.”

WCC’s Mission Based Trauma Recovery (MBTR) training program is unique in that Service Members and Veterans train service dogs for their fellow Warriors. This process not only helps prepare the dogs for their future roles but also provides therapeutic benefits to the trainers, such as improved impulse control, sleep, and emotional regulation, as well as reduced stress, depression, and hypervigilance. Each service dog in training has the potential to positively impact the lives of up to 60 Veterans.


Puppy Raisers support WCC service dogs in training for approximately two years before the dog’s graduate and are placed with a fur-ever Veteran. Each puppy goes home with their Puppy Raiser between the age of 8-12 weeks.

For many, these important volunteer positions are a way to give back to their community, most importantly, the Veterans who have served our country.

“I have gone through quite a few dogs in my years with WCC, and I keep coming back because I see every day what these dogs can do,” said Robin Martin, WCC Puppy Raiser Volunteer. “I see veterans sitting outside our training center having difficulty getting out of the truck/car, then they get out and walk in the building and are greeted by the dogs. The smiles alone let me know it’s working, and I’ve made the right decision to continue on this path. While it continues to be hard to give the dogs back, I know that I’m not really giving them back but moving them forward to their next adventure, and that adventure is helping a veteran in need.”

Can’t commit but want to get involved? Puppy sitters, volunteers who watch the dogs when Puppy Raisers need to go out of town, are also in demand to support WCC’s Asheville program. The experience also provides volunteers with an opportunity to see what it’s like to have a service dog in training in their house and what raising them is like.

To learn more about becoming a Puppy Raiser, click here. And for more information on becoming a Puppy Sitter, click here.

More information on WCC’s programs and unique MBTR training programing can be found here.

Written by Warrior Canine Connection.