Hundreds of puppies train as Seeing Eye dogs at Newark Liberty International Airport

Nonprofit organization The Seeing Eye worked with 220 puppies along with some 265 volunteers.

Naomi Yané

Apr 22, 2024, 10:25 AM

Updated 29 days ago

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The next generation of guide dogs took over Newark Liberty International Airport as part of their training to become seeing eye dogs.
Nonprofit organization The Seeing Eye worked with 220 puppies along with some 265 volunteers. The national organization helps blind and visually impaired people achieve independence through the use of guide dogs.
Over two training sessions this month, puppies receive the necessary training they need to become guide dogs one day. At the airport, they're taught how to guide a person on and off a plane.
Bonnie Lee DiCola, from Boonton, has been raising Seeing Eye puppies for 27 years. "A lot of our dogs do fly back once they graduate from The Seeing Eye. They go with their visually impaired person to their furever home and that makes you feel really good. You get a letter, and you hear about where your dog is and it's just a great accomplishment to everybody and puts a smile on everybody's face," she said.
The pups also learn to navigate baggage areas, security check points, boarding gates and the Airtrain. Before getting to this level in their training, the puppies are placed with volunteer families for a year to be socialized, taught obedience training and house broken. They then go back to The Seeing Eye for a four-month formal training with a professional instructor who teaches them skills around guiding a person.
Once they've completed that training, the pups are then matched with a blind or visually impaired person.
For more information on how to get involved, visit seeingeye.org.


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