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A young yellow lab puppy wearing a pink collar stands on top of a basket full of apples. There are apple trees in the background.


Open Your Home To A Brigadoon Pup!

Our single biggest volunteer need is foster homes. Volunteer fosters serve as the backbone our our organization by opening their homes and hearts to our dogs. We couldn't do our work without them.

Make a difference in someone's life by helping a puppy grow up to become a service dog. We need both long-term puppy raisers and short- and long-term respite fosters. Training, support, and lots of puppy cuddles are provided!

puppy raising timeline infographic

How it Works

The Brigadoon Puppy-Raising Program is made up of a dedicated group of volunteers committed to achieving positive outcomes for our Brigadoon dogs. Our service dogs change the lives of individuals living with a disability. But without the incredible people that volunteer to be puppy raisers, Brigadoon wouldn’t exist.

Our puppy raisers receive a puppy at eight (8) weeks of age and continue to raise the puppy until it is approximately eight (8) months of age. During this time, puppy raisers will attend our weekly training classes with their puppies. They also go on public outings to expose the puppies to a multitude of different environments. After six months of raising and training in your home, the puppies are ready to begin their rotations in our prison training programs. The pups often return to their puppy raising home during breaks from rotations in our prison training program.

Our puppy raisers are integral to what we do. We are just as committed to them as they are to our organization, and together we create a community dedicated to helping others. As we continue to grow as an organization, so will the rapidly increasing need for puppy raisers. The more puppies that are raised, the more people we can serve.

Brigadoon pays for all veterinary care, food, training, and equipment during the time they live with their puppy raiser - you provide the cuddles and love!

If you love puppies, and you want to give someone the life-changing gift of a service dog, puppy raising might be for you!

Respite Fostering

Our puppies can always benefit from new socialization experiences with a respite foster.  The short-term respite foster program is for our volunteers who love puppies, but just don’t have the time to be a puppy raiser.


Given the impact that fosters will have on our puppies, these volunteers are required to go through the same application process as puppy-raisers. This includes attending puppy classes and having a personal interview. We hold our respite fosters to the same standards as our puppy raisers, since consistency is very important at every step of a puppy's life. 

If you are interested in becoming a respite foster, please fill out the application below.

Brigadoon puppy, black lab
Brigadoon puppy, yellow lab
A young yellow lab puppy eating a piece of grass

Puppy Raiser FAQ's

What is the application process like?

Our application process consists of an application, an interview, and a home visit. If you have pets in the home (dogs or cats), we bring a dog to screen their comfort with sharing their home with a Brigadoon pup. Throughout this process, we share specifics about puppy raising and expectations for fostering a Brigadoon dog. You’ll have opportunities to ask any questions you might have. At the home visit, we also provide suggestions for setting your home up for the pup. We invite you to visit our weekly puppy classes to learn more about puppy raising and fostering. Puppy classes are also a great way to meet our community of Brigadoon puppy raisers and fosters, who can share more about their experiences as volunteers.

I don't live in Whatcom County. Can I still become a puppy raiser?

Yes! We have puppy raisers that live throughout Washington State. Generally, we ask that puppy raisers come to at least one training class at our Bellingham campus each month. Depending on your location, we may be able to connect you with an appropriate training class closer to your home.

What supplies does Brigadoon supply?

We provide all of the necessary items for the puppy: all of the food, training, and equipment. We also pay for all of the veterinary care! All that we ask you is to provide a warm place to sleep, training, treats, and love!

What if I go out of town?

We will arrange to have another puppy raiser or respite foster watch the puppy while you are away. Please give us as much advance notice as possible so that we can begin to make preparations as soon as possible.

Foster Application

Thanks for your interest in becoming a foster! Please complete the application and we will be in touch with you. 


Please specify if you are interested in long-term puppy raising or respite fostering.

Select the type of fostern you are interested in

Thanks for submitting!

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