Contact
New Bolton Center Kennett Square, PA
Emergencies & Appointments:
610-444-5800
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Ryan Hospital Philadelphia, PA
Emergencies:
215-746-8911
Appointments:
215-746-8387
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Foster and Working Dog

Foster a Puppy-In-Training


The Penn Vet Working Dog Center aims to raise and train detection dogs who will eventually serve our communities in the areas of Search and Rescue, Law Enforcement and public service. Select WDC dogs will participate in ongoing research studies, such as our internal research in Medical Detection and Proof of Concept studies.

Penn Vet Working Dog foster family

How Our Program Works

  • Puppies are donated by approved breeders at 8 weeks of age and are enrolled in the Working Dog Center Puppy Foundation Program for approximately 10-18 months
  • During this time, the dogs attend school Monday through Friday at the WDC, located at 3401 Grays Ferry Avenue in Philadelphia, PA.
  • Before/after school and on weekends, our dogs live with and are cared for by their foster families. Fosters drop their dogs off at the Working Dog Center daily between 7-9am and pick them up between 4-6pm.
  • At school the dogs receive training in live human search, agility, and obedience to complement their scent detection training. 
  • You can apply to be a fulltime Foster (commitment 12-18 months) or a back-up Foster (commitment 6 months minimum).

Meet Tessa Seales

Tessa and Dylan, Working Dog Center

Tessa, our Foster Coordinator, competed two Drexel Co-ops at the Working Dog Center. Her second Co-op focused on law enforcement and scent detection. After that, she returned as a part-time trainer and is now Foster Coordinator, getting to know all of the dogs here.  


What it Means to be a Working Dog Foster Family

  • You must be willing to follow WDC training methods and protocols, and provide consistency to the dogs at home.
  • You must be willing and able to take your dog places and give them new experiences to enhance their environmental and social exposure. 
  • You must be willing to give up WDC Foster dog to their working career and handler at the end of their training when they graduate. 
  • The WDC provides Foster Families with all the information necessary to be a successful Foster.
  • The WDC provides all supplies and medical care for the WDC dog you are fostering.