Puppies at OAK! pic.twitter.com/2SrunnnPKJ— Averi Harper (@AveriHarper) March 19, 2017
A group of dogs destined to help visually impaired people hit the Oakland Airport Sunday — but they weren't headed out on an adventure, as the visit was all part of their training.
The 25 pups are part of Guide Dogs for the Blind, a San Rafael-based facility that since 1942 "has been creating partnerships between people, dogs, and communities" in an effort to "prepare highly qualified guide dogs to serve and empower individuals who are blind or have low vision from throughout the United States and Canada."
Part of that training, reports KRON 4, involves "going through the gate check-in, security checks, baggage claim, and other exercises to learn how to assist blind passengers," hence their visit to the airport this weekend.
"We are socializing them so when they become a guide dog, they are familiar with the surroundings,"; one of the dogs' instructors told CBS 5.
The puppies, which KRON 4 says are mostly Golden Retrievers or Labradors, even got to walk through an airplane, as it and the rest of the airport are filled with various dog-spooking activities.
"For example, the luggage coming down and crashing, going through security — having a stranger hold on to them and the beeps that all the machines make, getting into a small narrow space on a plane,” trainer Joelle Cook tells CBS 5.
Eventually, the dogs will be sent to a visually-impaired person to help him or her live an independent life. That person won't pay a dime for the pup, as GDB says that "all of the services for our clients are provided free of charge, including personalized training and extensive post-graduation support, plus financial assistance for veterinary care, if needed."
The organization, which does not receive government funds, is entirely supported by donations. To learn more or to send GDB some dough, check out their website here
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