FUTURE GUIDE DOG MOVES INTO USF ST. PETERSBURG DORM WITH HIS VOLUNTEER STUDENT PUPPY RAISER
(Palmetto, Fla.)—October 2, 2017 A USFSP senior has added a special roommate to her college dorm room, one with four legs, fur, and a lot of energy.
Stephanie Campos welcomed three-month-old yellow Lab Pete (Petey) to live with her and three other women in the RHO residence hall on the campus last week, as part of a new residential Puppy Club made up of students who are volunteer puppy raisers for Southeastern Guide Dogs. Petey is the first puppy to be housed in the new Living, Learning Community (LLC) called “Puppy Love”.
Petey will one day become a guide dog for a blind person or a service dog for a disabled veteran. Stephanie is one of 20 students living on the first floor of the RHO dorm that have volunteered to train and handle puppies for about a year’s time, teaching them basic obedience and house manners and socializing them among other dogs and people. Sometime after age 1, the puppies are returned to Southeastern Guide Dogs where they enter Guide Dog University for another six months of intensive harness training by certified trainers. Those that rise to the highest levels of health, intelligence, trainability and desire to work are eventually matched with a visually impaired person or a veteran with PTSD or other disability. Someday, Petey will transform a life.
Other USFSP students are currently babysitting for puppies when other puppy raisers are in need and undergoing training, but aren’t necessarily able to raise the dogs on their own at this time. There are about 50 total members in the Puppy Club so far.
Stephanie has been supplied with a crate, toys and treats for Petey and looks forward to taking him with her to classes, social gatherings, and all over the city as he learns to be a confident guide dog.
For more on Southeastern Guide Dogs and becoming a volunteer puppy raiser, please go to: www.guidedogs.org
*Note: Mother Nature has been more than generous to Southeastern Guide Dogs’ Genetics and Reproduction department and we are experiencing a “puppy palooza” of births within our breeder colony. Puppy raisers are needed to foster our dogs throughout Florida and the southeast.
Loving puppy raiser homes are currently in great demand!
About Southeastern Guide Dogs
Southeastern Guide Dogs transforms lives by creating and nurturing extraordinary partnerships between people and dogs. Employing the latest in canine development and behavior research, the national organization trains guide dogs, service dogs and companion dogs for people living with significant challenges including those with visual impairments and veterans with disabilities.
All of Southeastern Guide Dogs’ services – which include selective breeding and expert dog training; comprehensive on-campus student instruction; and lifetime graduate follow-up – are provided at no cost to the recipients. The charity relies 100% on private donations and receives no government funding. Southeastern Guide Dogs has the distinction of being dually accredited by the two premier, global accreditation bodies: the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International. www.GuideDogs.org