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Yorktown's Guiding Eyes Accepting Westchester Puppy Raisers

The Guiding Eyes Puppy Raising Program provides the rewarding opportunity to raise a future guide dog puppy.
The Guiding Eyes Puppy Raising Program provides the rewarding opportunity to raise a future guide dog puppy. Photo Credit: Provided

YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y. -- Yorktown Heights' Guiding Eyes for the Blind, known around the globe as one of the foremost guide dog schools, is inviting residents in and around Westchester to open their homes and hearts in a rare volunteer opportunity to raise a future guide dog puppy.

For someone without sight, a Guiding Eyes dog is a priceless, life-changing gift that provides independence, companionship and mobility. Puppy raisers come from all walks of life and include couples, families with children, young adults and senior citizens. They all share a common desire to be a part of something bigger than themselves.

Puppy raisers welcome eight-week-old puppies into their homes and with full support from the nonprofit, including training classes and free vet care. The volunteers love, nurture and educate the puppies for a 14- to 16-month period before sending them off to their calling as a guide dog for a blind or visually impaired person.

“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 Linda Damato, Director, Puppy Program.

Regular puppy raising classes are held on Tuesday evenings in Scarsdale and Wednesday evenings at locations alternating between Yorktown Heights and Bedford.

Volunteers are always invited to attend the graduation ceremony of the dog that they helped to raise, which typically commences approximately six months after sending the puppy back to Guiding Eyes for formal training. It’s during this celebration that the raisers have the opportunity to meet the dog’s new partner and truly understand the impact that a guide dog has in the life of a person with vision loss.

To learn more, contact Nicole Guite, regional manager, at (845) 230-6406 or nguite@guidingeyes.org.

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