Volunteer

Volunteers are at the core of COPE Service Dogs. From raising funds to raising puppies, dedicated volunteers are vital to the success of the program. They allow us to deliver services and programs much needed by the community.

Volunteer involvement in COPE programs will be more important than ever as we expand our programs. COPE’s Canines in the Classroom model is now being piloted in Mississauga. Volunteers are needed in Barrie and Mississauga.  Check out the roles below to see what one is right for you, then complete the Pre-Application.

COPE puppies-in-training are placed with Puppy Foster Volunteers from the time they are 7-8 weeks old, until they are matched with their life partner, or move on to do their life’s work (approximately 1 – 2 years later).

Why?

COPE Service Dogs are destined for a fulfilling life with human partners, it is of the utmost importance that they be home-raised. This means being part of a family during their formative puppy-hood and into their advanced training years.

Where?

Simcoe County: within a reasonable traveling distance to Canines in the Classroom location at Nantyr Shores Secondary School.

Mississauga: within a reasonable travelling distance to Canines in the Classroom locations at West Credit Secondary School and Meadowvale Secondary School.

Who?

  • You are over 18 years of age.
  • If you have a family, you must have all your family members’ support.
  • You may have other pets, but no more than 2 dogs in residence and none under the age of 12 months. All other pets must be spayed or neutered.
  • Your home will ideally have a safe fenced yard.
  • You must have the transportation means to attend regular training classes, and to transport your puppy to the Canines In The Classroom Program or be available to have your pup transported by the COPE van.
  • You are available to care for the puppy during the day either in your home or at work when the puppy is not in school.
  • You must be willing to take your puppy with you on outings and into public establishments such as stores and restaurants.
  • You must commit to and comply with the training methods used by COPE.
  • You will have successfully completed our application and screening process.

What?

A Puppy Foster Volunteer is the first, very important step in the life of a COPE dog. The responsibilities of the family are outweighed by the enrichment of having a puppy-in-training in your life!

Responsibilities include:

  • Raising the best dog possible in accordance with the training methods set out by COPE.
  • Always leaving a positive impression with anyone who interacts with a COPE puppy-in-training.

More specifically:

  • Mandatory attendance at training sessions for you and your puppy-in-training.
  • Transportation of puppy to training facilities in Barrie and/or Innisfil to participate in early puppy-hood training and advanced training, as well as other COPE programs.
  • Socializing the puppy by systematically exposing him/her to different situations they will experience in their future work, under COPE’s guidance. That means, taking your puppy with you wherever you go!
  • Be willing to purchase some basic puppy supplies, for example: toys, treats, toothbrush and toothpaste, brush, flexi-leash, bedding and bowls.
  • COPE will provide the dog crate, regularly scheduled vet care, food, a 4 foot leash, exercise harness, and COPE ID (backpack and/or cape).

Timing:

 We regularly have the opportunity to welcome new puppies into our program.If you would like to be a Puppy Foster Volunteer, the application process begins by first completing the Pre-Application Form below.

What?

COPE Service Dogs has a roster of Puppy Sitters, who provide back-up for Puppy Foster Volunteers when needed. When the Foster is not available because of commitments, vacation or a unplanned changes in circumstance, the puppy-in-training would stay with the Puppy Sitter. Training is supplied to the Sitter once the application process is complete.

Who?

  • You are over 18 years of age.
  • If you have a family, you must have all your family members’ support.
  • You may have other pets, but no more than 2 dogs in residence and none under the age of 12 months. All other pets must be spayed or neutered.
  • You must have the transportation means to attend training classes in Barrie, and to transport the puppy that you are sitting to the Canines in the Classroom Program.
  • You are available to care for the puppy during the day either in your home or at work as a pet when the puppy is not in school.
  • You must commit to and comply with the training methods used by COPE.
  • You will have successfully completed our application and screening process.

Timing: 

Will vary depending on the needs of Puppy Foster Volunteers, and can last from a few hours, to a few days or weeks. If you would like to volunteer as a Puppy Sitter, the application process begins by first completing the Pre-Application below.

Join the team unleash potential in the lives of students and people living with disabilities by transporting dogs and puppies to attend Canines in the Classroom program and Refinement Training. Drivers are needed in both Simcoe County and Mississauga.

What?

  • Transport multiple dogs to/from designated locations for Canines in the Classroom and Refinement Training in Simcoe County or Mississauga using vehicle provided by COPE.
  • Clean COPE vehicle at car cleaning station when needed, cost covered by COPE.

Who?

  • 25 years or older
  • Driver’s license (Class G)
  • Clean driving record

When?

  • Ongoing
  • Available to drive at least 2 shifts per week
  • Shifts are 2 to 4 hours long
  • Shifts occur on weekdays
  • No driving on public holidays and school holidays

Training:

  • 1.5-hour in-person training
  • One shift of shadowing an experienced driver

Licence:

  • G (Required)

If you would like to apply to be a COPE van driver, please complete and submit the Pre-Application below.

What?

You and your dog volunteer to unleash potential in students, as they learn to train service and therapy dogs. Your dog is trained during the school day by a student facing barriers and then you and your dog are trained to become a Therapy Dog team to help children read and/or visit Senior’s Homes.

Where?

West Credit Secondary School and/or Meadowvale Secondary School and associated community.

When?

  • Fall 2021 – Pre-screening of your dog’s suitability for Canines in the Classroom.
  • February 2022 – Upon successful completion, your dog participates in Canines in the Classroom, two days per week.
  • Spring 2022 – You and your dog participate in a five hour Reading Buddy and Therapy Visit training program.
  • September 2022 and moving forward – You and your dog participate in Reading Buddy or Therapy Visits in the community once a month.

Who?

 YOU:

  • Are over 18 years of age.
  •  Have the transportation means to attend training and possibly transport your dog to Canines in the Classroom two days per week as part of a Team Transportation Plan*.
  • Have a sense of community and are willing to participate in therapy visits once per month.
  • Are willing to be consistent with COPE’s training guidelines.

Your Dog:

  • Is calm, confident, willing to please and has no aggressive tendencies.
  • Will be trained and cared for by student handlers that are in training in a classroom setting.
  • Is able to be quiet in a class for four hours per day, two days per week.
  • May be transported in a COPE van driven by a trained volunteer as part of a Team Transportation Plan.
  • May be in a crate for short periods of time.
  • Will be around children and other dogs.
  • Is not fed a raw food diet (harmful bacteria in raw food can impact immunocompromised individuals).

Why?

To have a positive and profound impact on the lives of students facing barriers, children, seniors and people living with disabilities.

How?

The application process begins by first completing the Pre-Application Form below.

* Team Transportation Plan: Once all ten dogs that are participating in Canines in the Classroom are confirmed, a Transportation Plan will be developed to maximize efficiency for drivers and dog homes. Some may need to take or pick up their dog from school, or to a nearby location for ‘vanpooling’, or have their dog picked up or dropped off at home. The Team Transportation Plan strives to ensure that all volunteers are not doing too much or too little for their comfort level.

What?

You purchase a COPE-bred puppy and participate in our Community Pet Therapy Dogs program.

Where?

West Credit Secondary School and/or Meadowvale Secondary School and associated community.

Who?

  • You are over 18 years of age.
  • If you have a family, you must have all your family members’ support.
  • Your home will ideally have a safe fenced yard.
  • You are willing to participate in COPE’s introductory training and other applicable training to be a Pet Therapy Dog.
  •  Have the transportation means to attend training and possibly transport your dog to Canines in the Classroom two days per week as part of a Team Transportation Plan*.
  • Have a sense of community and are willing to participate in therapy visits once per month.
  • Are willing to be consistent with COPE’s training guidelines.

Why?

To have a positive and profound impact on the lives of students facing barriers, children, seniors and people living with disabilities.

How?

The application process begins by first completing the Pre-Application Form below.

*Team Transportation Plan: Once all ten dogs that are participating in Canines in the Classroom are confirmed, a Transportation Plan will be developed to maximize efficiency for drivers and dog homes. Some may need to take or pick up their dog from school, or to a nearby location for ‘vanpooling’, or have their dog picked up or dropped off at home. The Team Transportation Plan strives to ensure that all volunteers are not doing too much or too little for their comfort level.

What?

A COPE Dog (dam) gives birth to puppies (whelps) in your home. For a period of approximately two months, you are the primary caregiver of the dam and puppies, but will be assisted by COPE staff and trained volunteers.

Where?

North Western Mississauga

When?

Spring 2022 – Canine heat cycles can be unpredictable and as such, the timing is approximate. Your training would occur prior to the whelping date.

Who?

  • You are over 18 years of age.
  • If you have a family, you must have all your family members’ support.
  • You are home day and night.
  • You have a suitable area in your home where puppies can be born and raised with easy access to a safe toileting and play area.
  •  You are agreeable to having COPE staff and volunteers in your home on a regular bases to help with the dam and puppy care.
  • You have your own transportation.

Why?

COPE’s Canines in the Classroom program has been successful for the past twenty years using dogs from the COPE breeding program. Puppies from our program make excellent dogs for the Canines in the Classroom (CIC) and future therapy work. Future owners of these puppies agree to participate in CIC and Community Pet Therapy Dogs.

How?

The application process begins by first completing the Pre-Application Form below.

What?

Join the Team to change the lives of students and people living with disabilities by helping in the COPE Service Dog office, a event committee or during one of our fundraising events.

Responsibilities and Duties:

  • Office work that could include filing, sending emails or other daily, weekly or monthly responsibilities.
  • Event work could include preparing and planning for events, sending emails or making phone calls .
  • A wide-range of duties are available.

Qualifications:

  • Computer knowledge would be considered an asset for some duties.
  • Likes being part of a team and having fun.
  • Enjoys working in a friendly, furry, dog environment.
  • Training is provided.

If you would like to apply to be help in the office or with an event, please complete and submit the Pre-Application below.

Do You Have Any Special, Secret Skills You Would Like To Share?

Are you a plumber, painter, carpenter or have any other skills that might help us out? Would you like to hold a event to support COPE Service Dogs?

Specific skills are only called upon when needed. If you would like to offer your services and be put on our call-list, please start by completing the Pre-Application below.

Thank you for thinking of COPE Service Dogs! We are fur-ever grateful!

Please complete and submit the below Pre-Application form to start the process of becoming a Volunteer with COPE Service Dogs.