Puppy Raiser – Heidi Vollrath

Posted by & filed under Campus Program, University of Kentucky, Volunteer.

16700570_10155109217203313_6781668479785990429_oMeet a Puppy Raiser

Name:  Heidi Vollrath 
School:  University of Kentucky 
Major:  Business Management 
Dogs fostered:  8 Dogs 

The impact 4 Paws has had on my life is difficult to put into words. I can truly say I would not be the person I am today without 4 Paws for Ability at the University of Kentucky. What started as a love for dogs blossomed into a passion for the service dog industry and ultimately, my career. Slider, Delmar, Paris, Necco, Nikolai, Cajun, Selvig and Samoset each hold a special place in my heart. As they grew so did I, each one teaching me something special. But 4 Paws is so much more than the dogs, its about Arielle, Israel, Ben, Austin, AJ, Mark, Seth and all the other kids past and present that have received a new best friend. It’s about all of the moms, dads, grandparents and siblings that worked so hard in the hope their lives could be changed for the better. It’s about all of the trainers and staff members that work long countless hours, the puppy raisers and the breeder host homes that give away pieces of their hearts. From each of these parties I learned about unconditional love, selflessness and the importance for helping one another. These are not things that I could have learned in a classroom. My experiences in the college program led me to begin my career as an Apprentice Guide Dog Mobility Instructor working to train and place guide dogs. I cannot thank the families who received my puppies enough for welcoming me with open arms and allowing me to witness the impact the dog had on their family or 4 Paws for the opportunity to be a small part of this unique program and helping me find my passion.