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Guide Eyes For The Blind Hosts Guide Dog Training Orientation

Residents of central and southern Westchester have the opportunity to raise future guide dogs with the help of Guiding Eyes for the Blind, a leading school for guide dogs.
Residents of central and southern Westchester have the opportunity to raise future guide dogs with the help of Guiding Eyes for the Blind, a leading school for guide dogs. Photo Credit: Contributed

SCARSDALE, N.Y. – Guiding Eyes for the Blind, a leading school for guide dogs, is asking residents of central and southern Westchester to open their homes to raise future guide dogs.

The nonprofit organization will open its lower Westchester puppy-raising region by launching an orientation series for prospective raisers on Tuesday, Oct. 28,  from 6-8 p.m., at the Scarsdale Teen Center, 862 Scarsdale Ave.

There, participants can learn more about the program and meet the puppies involved. The next sessions will be held on Tuesdays, Nov. 11 and 25. RSVPs are required, and a volunteer can become a raiser after attending all three orientation sessions. Training classes will then be held Tuesday evenings in Scarsdale.

Puppy raisers Kathlyn Carroll and Michael Healy of White Plains have expressed joy in raising a guide dog that is now helping someone in need.

“The first puppy Michael and I raised recently graduated as a guide dog; he works with a deaf-blind college student and helps him get to and from classes safely and independently,” said Carroll. “We are so proud to be part of this tremendous difference in someone’s life.”

Puppy raisers invite 8-week old puppies into their homes, where they are raised with the help of Guiding Eyes, which provides services such as free veterinarian care. Raisers nurture and educate puppies for 14-16 months before sending them back to Guiding Eyes, where they go through formal training before becoming guide dogs for someone who is blind or visually impaired.

“Without the extraordinary dedication of our puppy raisers, we would simply be unable to provide guide dogs to people who are blind or visually impaired,” said Michelle Brier, Guiding Eyes’ director of marketing and communications.

Raisers are invited to attend the graduation ceremony of the dog they raised, where they can meet the person the dog will be helping. This event usually occurs six months after the dog goes back to Guiding Eyes.

To RSVP for the orientation series, contact Kate Schroer-Shepord at 845-230-6436 or kschroer@guidingeyes.org. For more information about the puppy-raising program, click here or call 866-GEB-LABS.

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