Cape Gazette
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Guiding Eyes for the Blind seeks volunteers

Raise a future guide dog and change a life
Mar 04, 2014
Source: Submitted Orlando begins his life as a Guide Dog for the Blind with a volunteer family.

Guiding Eyes Delmarva Region of puppy raisers is actively seeking volunteers for its program.

Guiding Eyes’ Canine Development Center, volunteer.guidingeyes.org, in Patterson, N.Y., is home to a breeding program for Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever and German Shepherd dogs that are ideally suited for guide dog work. When they are between eight and 10 weeks old, these special puppies are sent home with volunteers who raise them for 16-18 months, offering time, love and special training so the dogs can learn house manners and be socialized in numerous situations.

Guiding Eyes supports its volunteer puppy raisers by providing regular guidance, training classes and free veterinary care. Puppy raisers often develop a unique camaraderie as they attend classes together and prepare the dogs to move on to the next steps in their training. Many consider their Guiding Eyes experience the most inspirational and fulfilling work they’ve ever done.

Many puppy raisers say there is nothing more fulfilling then seeing their dog graduate and meet the visually impaired person whose life has been forever changed with their help. Dogs that do not graduate often go on to careers in law enforcement, or are adopted by their puppy raisers or other families on a waiting list.

Instruction sessions for new puppy raisers will begin soon.

Individuals, couples and families are all invited to take part. For more information about the Guiding Eyes Puppy Raising program, contact Ellen Higgins at 410-476-4330, or call the Canine Development Center at 1-866-GEB-LABS. Go to www.volunteer.guidingeyes.org to submit an application.

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