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Charity Spotlight: Guiding Eyes for the Blind

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Teaching children about charities and the work that they do is essential for raising social awareness and developing the mental capacities to feel compassion and empathy for others. There are many wonderful charities that exist to support numerous honorable causes that are worth discussing and raising awareness about. One noble charity that gets too little attention is “Guiding Eyes for the Blind.” This charity aims to breed and train puppies—mostly Labradors—who will grow up to become “seeing eye” dogs for blind people.

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Guiding Eyes for the Blind was formed in 1956. Currently, it is one of eleven accredited U.S schools for training guide dogs. The organization’s training headquarters (which doubles as a veterinary clinic) is located in Yorktown Heights, New York, on 10 acres of land. The organization also operates two other centers in upstate New York; a canine development center located in Patterson and a training site situated in White Plains.

Guiding Eyes for the Blind largely provides guide dogs to people who are blind or visually impaired. However, the program also gives dogs to those who suffer from other issues such as deafness, autism, and seizure disorders. The organization usually has the help of over 1,300 volunteers. All dogs are pure bred and raised by well-respected breeders. All dogs must pass rigorous tests to ensure that they will make suitable guide dogs. The dogs that do not make the mark are removed from the guide dog program and returned to the breeder where they can be adopted as regular pets.

The dogs that do show promise as guide dogs are fostered out to families who continue the dog’s training until the animal’s service-ability is guaranteed. At that point the guide dog is placed with an individual who is in need of their services. Most guide dogs are adopted and kept by the same family for nearly a decade. When a guide dog starts to age and is no longer capable of providing the best service for a blind owner, the dog is retired. The blind individual gets a new dog and the retired one is adopted out to a loving family where it can be kept as a pet for the rest of its life.

Guiding Eyes for the Blind is a charity that helps many people every year. To find out more about this wonderful organization visit the official website here: http://www.guidingeyes.org/

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