JILL SPEER & RYAN MILLER

Puppy Raiser / Trainer Since: 2012

I think equipping dogs with skills to assist individuals with physical limitations is such an innovative way to help others. I decided to volunteer with WAGS because I want to be part of this unique way to help others. Working with WAGS allows me to volunteer in my daily life and get to know a fun pup at the same time! I work with a long-term care program in the State of Wisconsin. The program empowers individuals with physical disabilities, developmental disabilities and frail elders to self-direct their care and to remain in their homes in the community rather than in an institution. My work is very supportive of my training a service dog. I think coworkers, family and friends are all happy to learn about an organization like WAGS and also to find out where they can help the puppy gain skills as well. I know that giving up the trained dog will definitely be challenging, but also probably the most rewarding part of being a volunteer Puppy Raiser. – Jill

I became interested in volunteering with WAGS because its services are unique and the local nature of its mission appealed to me. Helping to improve everyday life for a fellow Wisconsinite by training a dog at home and in my community sounded like a fulfilling opportunity that I could incorporate into my day-to-day routine. As a Puppy Raiser, it’s exciting to see the dog grasp skills directly related to helping a prospective WAGS client. I work with the Legislative Reference Bureau, a nonpartisan service agency of the Wisconsin Legislature. Among other things, I research legislative history and state laws, analyze and write about legislation and various policy topics, and help compile the State of Wisconsin Blue Book. My coworkers are very supportive of my work with WAGS. They are excited to visit the pup, practice greetings, and help facilitate in skills training when the moment arises. – Ryan