Starting June 4, people living in New York City will be able to take part in Guiding Eyes for the Blind’s volunteer puppy-raising program for the first time.
Guiding Eyes, a school for guide dogs, will launch a New York City puppy-raising region with a pre-placement class June 4 at Visions, a center that offers services for the blind and visually impaired.
Along with the opportunity to meet dog trainers and puppies, participants will hear from two city dwellers who say their lives have been profoundly changed by their guide dogs.
“We are very excited to give New Yorkers the chance to raise Guiding Eyes puppies. Puppies who grow up in the city and learn to be comfortable in all aspects of the urban environment will have a huge advantage when they begin their guide dog training,” Guiding Eyes Regional Marketing Manager Linda Damato said.
Guiding Eyes’ Patterson, N.Y.-based canine development center breeds Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and German Shepherds for guide dog work. At 8 to 10 weeks old, the puppies are sent to live with volunteers who raise the young dogs at home for 14 to 16 months, teaching them house manners and socialization skills.
Volunteers are supported with regular guidance, training classes, and free veterinary care.
For more information about the puppy raising program or the June 4 pre-placement class at Visions, call Guiding Eyes’ canine development center at (866) GEB-LABS or visit the center’s website at www.cdc.guidingeyes.org.