Chester Kiwanis Meeting Highlights
Kiwanis Newsletter – 03/21/2009
The guest speakers were Cathy and Les Foldesi from Guiding Eyes for the Blind with their dogs Lennon and Kahlua. Guiding Eyes is dedicated to enriching the lives of blind and visually impaired men and women by providing them with the freedom to travel safely, thereby assuring greater independence, dignity and new horizons of opportunity. Guiding Eyes is an internationally accredited, nonprofit guide dog school with a 50-plus year legacy of providing the blind and visually impaired with superior Guiding Eyes dogs, training, and lifetime support services.
Cathy and Les began their work with Guiding Eyes in 2000. They are currently raising their 13th puppy. There are 10 such puppy raising groups in Richmond. They receive puppies from the organization that are eight weeks old and have gone through some pre-training. They work with the puppies until they reach two years of age. About one-fourth of puppies who begin training actually make it become working dogs for the blind. The remaining who are not suited for such work are transferred to such organizations such as the police and ATF or are returned to the trainers as pets. There are 12 dog training schools for the blind in the United States, including Guiding Eyes for the Blind. If you are interested in learning more about this Puppy Raising Program, please click here to visit the web site or call 1-800-432-5227.