Volunteer with the Working Dog Center

Volunteer at the Center

The Penn Vet Working Dog Center serves as a national research and development center for detection dogs. Our dogs are trained to find victims of disasters, identify explosive and illicit drug threats, apprehend criminals, serve as Diabetes Alert Dogs, and detect ovarian cancer. These dogs literally save lives.

How to Volunteer

Come take a tour of the Center to learn more about our mission and ways you can contribute.

Contact Judi Berke, Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator, at berkej@upenn.edu or 215-898-2200.

PVWDC Campus Map

First Things First: Sign Up for a Tour

Learn more about our mission and discover the best way for you to contribute by scheduling a tour of the Working Dog Center. You'll learn about our Puppy Foundation Program, witness a search-and-rescue demonstration, discover how dogs can scent out ovarian cancer, and meet our team.

Learn About Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers are a valuable asset to the Working Dog Center. We are eager for you to be part of our team! It is fun and rewarding.

  • If you are local to the Philadelphia region, or if you interested in helping remotely, there are a number of volunteer opportunities available at the Working Dog Center.
  • If you have a special talent such as marketing, advertising, or construction that you wish to use towards the mission of the Center, we welcome your application.
  • We also appreciate the assistance of volunteers on special events and facility improvement projects.


Wait, There's More!

Want to be a part of the Penn Vet Working Dog Center, but volunteering does not work with your schedule or location? Not a problem, we have many ways you can help!

The WDC offers lots of great ways to be involved. Below are just a few ideas. If you have a special talent or resource you would like to share, please contact Judi Berke, Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator, at berkej@vet.upenn.edu or call 215-898-2200.

Share Your Special TalentsWorking Dog Puppy

  • Computer Skills
  • Creative Writing
  • Data Entry
  • Graphic Design
  • Handyman
  • Photography
  • Videography

Become a Working Dog Foster

During the day puppies will be in foundation training at the Center, but we need local families to share their evenings and weekends with their foster puppy to provide a warm, comfortable, social home environment. After approximately 12 months of fostering, your puppy will go on to his job at his permanent home…and you’ll get a new puppy if you’d like to continue fostering.

Interested in being considered to be a full-time or temporary foster for one of the Penn Vet Working Dog Center puppies?

Donate a Puppy

We accept working line puppies from proven breeders. The most successful of these dogs will become the foundation stock for our breeding program.

Schedule a Tour

Learn more about tours of the Working Dog Center HERE.

To schedule a tour, contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Judi Berke, at 215-898-2200 or berkej@upenn.edu.

View All


July 11
"Get Lost" Working Dog Center Tour
"Get Lost" tour of Working Dog Center that features detection dogs.
» More Information
July 20
"Up & Over, Under & Through" Working Dog Center Tour
"Up & Over, Under & Through" agility demonstrations and a tour of the Center.
» More Information