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The Kid Should See This

What does it take to raise a guide dog puppy?

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Guide Dogs is a British charity dedicated to breeding and training assistance animals for blind or visually impaired people. “Before the pandemic,” BBC reporter Sean Dilley explains, “they bred as many as 1,500 dogs in a year.” But 2020’s five-month hiatus, a pause for volunteer and staff safety, impacted the organization’s breeding program; they lost a third of their puppy raisers.

And though they are making strides in their recovery efforts, they needed more compassionate volunteers to help raise guide dog puppies.

Lisa Allison is one of the many remarkable individuals who have stepped up to this challenge. She is part of a community of over 2,000 puppy-raising families that volunteer their time and efforts for around one year to raise these extraordinary animals. With the love and training she provides dogs Archie and Fergall, Allison hopes they will one day give comfort, support, and independence to people who need them.

saying good-bye to Fergall
Dilley, who is congenitally blind, knows this challenge first hand: His 10-year-old dog Sammy was set to retire when Dilley learned that he faced a possible two-year wait for a new, life-changing guide dog.

In the video below, Dilley and Sammy go on their last working walk together.

Dilley walking with Sammy

Since the BBC reporter shared his story, “the charity Guide Dogs has had a record number of applications to volunteer, with more than 4,500 people coming forward.”

American Council of the Blind also has a list of Guide Dog resources in the United States, including Guide Dogs for the Blind and Guide Dogs of America.

Watch these videos next:
• Kids Meet a Guide Dog for the Blind
• The avalanche rescue dogs of Mount Bachelor
• How do the blind cook?
• Emily’s Oz: A blind girl imagines and art directs The Wizard of Oz

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