One Step Ahead

Guiding Eyes for the Blind launches a campaign to build the world's first "puppy prep school."

Posted: October 17, 2011, 3 a.m. EDT

 Labrador Retriever
The state-of-the-art Canine Development Center will change the way guide dogs and autism service dogs are trained to fulfill their destiny.

The school recently previewed plans for an $8 million construction program to transform the Center, located in Patterson, N.Y., into a one-of-a-kind puppy training facility.

Complete with puppy training pavilion, expanded kennels, open living areas, outdoor areas for "off-leash" exercise, multiple early socialization rooms, and dedicated instructional space for volunteers, spaces are appropriately designed to support puppies' physical and cognitive needs throughout their developmental cycles.

A $1 million gift from the Arthur and Phyllis Milton Foundation and early fundraising enabled the school to complete "Phase I" of the project, which renovated and expanded the CDC's whelping kennels.

In order to continue construction, Guiding Eyes is now reaching out to the public to secure the additional funds needed to resume construction in 2013.

"Guiding Eyes is an organization whose work has truly touched our hearts," said Phyllis Milton. "The school does so much more than provide guide dogs to the blind. They empower students to fulfill their true potential through the gift of independence."

For more information on the facility and fund raising efforts, visit Guiding Eyes for the Blind.


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