Guiding Eyes for the Blind is committed to supporting our fosters as they care for one of our breeding dogs. The foster/sitter volunteers and the staff at the Canine Development Center work as a team to ensure that the dogs are kept in the best possible condition. They should feel free at any time to ask questions, understand everything that is happening with their dog, and bring any problems or concerns to the Brood Stud Program Manager.
Guiding Eyes provides each foster with:
- training in obedience and dog handling prior to receiving the dog.
- quarterly assessments.
- follow-up meetings for training or other support as needed.
- veterinary care, including vaccinations and preventive medications, routine care, and emergency care.
- a sitter network when you are traveling and can’t bring your dog with you.
- printed materials for quick and easy reference.
Reliable and Caring Support
Whether you’re an experienced dog owner or just starting out, we’re here to help you understand your dog’s behavior, care for your dog, and have a great time doing it! The Brood Stud Program Manager or a qualified kennel support technician is available by phone or email for any questions, problems, or concerns the foster/sitter may have. If problems arise that necessitate closer follow-up and support, the foster will be scheduled to come to the Canine Development Center in Patterson, N.Y. for extra help.
Our Breeding Kennel and Whelping Kennel are staffed 365 days per year, and open from 7am to 6pm, with a reduced staff after 4pm. Admits and discharges are scheduled up until 4pm.
Training and Assessments
Our Brood Stud Manager and the Guiding Eyes staff will teach and guide you through every step. On average, a new foster attends two lessons before taking the dog home. Then every three months, a Breeding Kennel support tech will schedule an assessment meeting at the Patterson campus. During this meeting, the staff will assess the dog’s fitness and behavior, and provide instruction for grooming and general care if needed.
Trusted Veterinary Care
Guiding Eyes has a dedicated veterinary team that supports all dogs in the Brood Stud Program. Foster/sitter volunteers do not have to pay for any pre-authorized veterinary care for their dogs. This veterinary care is provided on campus at one of Guiding Eyes’ Vet Hospitals, (appointments required), or if necessary, your dog may be referred to a veterinary specialist.
Guiding Eyes Veterinary staff is available by phone or email to answer questions and give advice to foster/sitter volunteers during business hours. Although not always able to answer the phone, callers can leave a message indicating the urgency of the call. An emergency number is also provided for after-hours calls.
An informative health care section is available on the website to foster/sitter volunteers who are registered and authorized for volunteer access. This section is only accessible if logging in with a registration that’s been authorized previously by Guiding Eyes staff.
Fosters/Sitters are allowed to take their breeding dog on vacation with them, but only if the dog is not needed by Guiding Eyes during that period. If travelling without the dog, Guiding Eyes will provide a Sitter Network list, which is comprised of foster families that have agreed to sit dogs in their homes. (see Become a Foster for more info)
If the foster relocates outside the required maximum distance from the Canine Development Center or is unable to meet the requirements of the Foster Program as outlined in the Foster Agreement, Guiding Eyes will take back the breeder and place it with another foster/sitter.