Guiding Eyes Delmarva Region of puppy raisers is actively seeking volunteers for the program.
Guiding Eyes’ Canine Development Center in Patterson, N.Y., is home to a breeding program for Labrador retriever, golden retriever and German shepherd dogs who 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.
Dogs who 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 in January and February in Milford for the next batch of new pups.
Individuals, couples and families are all invited to take part. No prior dog experience is necessary. For more information about the Guiding Eyes Puppy Raising program, contact Barbara Byle at 302-422-3522 or call the Canine Development Center at 1-866-GEB-LABS or visit www.cdc.guidingeyes.org. Go to the Canine Development Center at http://volunteer.guidingeyes.org to submit an application.