WEST FALLOWFIELD TWP., Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Community puppy homes were not always available to the Canine Partners for Life program in the numbers that they needed, but now those numbers are really scarce because of the pandemic.
Now, CPL is turning to volunteers to help bring more puppies into their program.
Rusty spent a few weeks being trained in a puppy home. The 11-week-old is one of about a dozen puppies currently in community homes for the Canine Partners for Life Program.
The organization says it normally likes to have 50-70 puppies being trained at one time.
Pre-pandemic, the program relied on a partnership with area prisons.
"We're really in need of puppy raisers right now, because we normally have 45 inmate handlers doing the puppy program," said Deb Bauer, Program Coordinator. "Some of our prisons did have to close their puppy program due to the pandemic."
The organization, now desperate for volunteers, is making a plea on social media for puppy raisers or CPL won't be able to bring more animals into the program.
"So if we don't have homes, we cant bring in puppies, which means we can't place as many service dogs with people who need them," she said.
The animals eventually become certified service dogs with those who have physical disabilities, mobile impairments, or health issues, allowing those individuals to live an independent quality of life.
For Emily Saure, it's one of the reasons why she volunteers.
"It's so fun to watch them grow, learn their commands and it's well worth while to see the independence they give someone one day," said Saure.
And that independence depends heavily on volunteers stepping up to raise these puppies.
For more information on how to be volunteer, CLICK HERE.