Seeing Eye Dogs opened its state of the art puppy breeding and training center in Kensington Australia today, but faces closure because it lies in part of a proposed path of the East West Link, a proposed toll-road extending Australia’s main freeway into western suburbs.
Puppies at the center’s grand opening in Kensington, Australia. Photo from TheAge
As the only national breeder, trainer and supplier of seeing eye dogs, the new center will allow the organization to continue to grow and make dogs available to those who need them. The $7 million facility offers indoor and outdoor play and training areas as well as, breeding facilities and a rehabilitation pool for helping dogs exercise and recover from injuries. The center allows features a soundproofed public viewing platform inviting people to seeing the dogs train and interact.
A report by theage.com.au explains that the Seeing Eye Dogs and parent charity Vision Australia were not told that three-quarters of their site would be needed for the $5-$7 billion road tunnel until seven months into construction of the facility. The kennels, breeding and training center were built with public and corporate donations .says TheAge.
The loss of space in addition to the noise and light blockage from the planned, elevated freeway would make running the facility near impossible in its current location.
Linking Melbourne Authority spokeswoman Gemma Boucher told TheAge, that the Authority was meeting regularly with Vision Australia to ”investigate the best ways to reduce or avoid any impact to Vision Australia and its Seeing Eye Dog facility.”