Child meets her service dog during a ceremony as others look on

Susquehanna Service Dogs raises, trains, and places service dogs and hearing dogs, as well as facility dogs, to assist children and adults with disability to become more independent. Founded in 1993 by a group of dedicated volunteers, today SSD has placed over 300 service dogs with people throughout Pennsylvania and the surrounding states.

We work hard to find the perfect match between a person and a service dog. Whether our service dogs are retrieving dropped items or opening a door, they’re assisting their partner to live a full, rich life as independently as possible.

We depend on over 300 volunteers to raise and sit puppies, train our dogs in public, maintain our property, and so much more. Join us as a volunteer and help change lives!

We are a program of Keystone Human Services and are an accredited member of Assistance Dogs International (ADI).

Apply for a Service Dog

Susquehanna Service Dogs trains dogs to assist children and adults with a wide variety of disabilities, including people with physical, cognitive and psychiatric disabilities, autism, hearing impairments, and seizure disorder, as well as for veterans with PTSD. Each dog is trained to perform various tasks based on their partner’s needs. We also train facility dogs to work with professionals in a wide variety of settings, including but not limited to courthouses, schools, nursing homes, mental health facilities, oncology clinics, occupational therapy.

Although it costs over $30,000 to train and place one service dog, we only require our partners to pay a $5,000 fee for service.

Learn more and request an application

Raise a Puppy

Would you like to raise a puppy for Susquehanna Service Dogs? Our puppy raisers welcome an eight- to nine-week-old puppy into their home and help train them for 15-18 months. Raisers are responsible for teaching the puppy good house manners, teaching the puppy 26 different cues, regularly attending puppy class, and providing the opportunity for socialization and public experiences.

Puppy raiser homes are ideally located in South Central Pennsylvania within an hour’s drive of Grantville, PA.

Learn more about becoming a puppy raiser

Become a Sitter

We are also in need of puppy sitters, who watch one of our dogs for a short amount of time. Our sitters play an important role in our dogs’ training. They care for our service dogs in training when their raisers go on vacation or are otherwise unable to take care of the dogs.

More importantly, our sitters give the dogs valuable experiences in a new home and routine, helping to make the dogs’ transition to advanced training and eventually to their partners much smoother.

Learn more about becoming a sitter

Become a Puppy Hugger

Do you like to snuggle with puppies? Become a puppy hugger for a future service dog! Our puppy huggers help our puppies get used to being around people.

Hugging is only available at our facility in Grantville, PA when we have a litter of puppies. You can join our email list to receive notifications when puppies are available. Hugging spots fill up quickly, so make sure you sign up as soon as possible after you receive the email notification.

Join the puppy hugging email list