Our raisers are responsible for nurturing a puppy to prepare it for guide dog training. Raisers care for our young dogs and equip them with the skills they need to take on a job that will change someone’s life. Many of our volunteers find the experience life-changing, too.

“We love the dogs; they are the best of the best. We are so proud when they succeed, and there are many smiling faces at graduation. And a blind person benefits tremendously from our work. But I’m convinced we are getting the better end of this deal. Puppy raising is challenging, but the return on investment is extraordinary. This adventure has brought our family together like little else could.”

Who makes a great puppy raiser?

Someone who is deeply caring, giving, and responsible.

Our network includes couples, families with children, young adults, and senior citizens, living in cities, suburbs, the countryside, apartments, houses, you name it.

We are extremely proud that so many raisers enjoy our program enough to renew their commitment to raise another puppy. In fact, 69% are repeat raisers, and some people have raised more than 30 puppies!

How does it work?

Simply put, raisers look after, care for, and lay the foundation for training a puppy. They provide hours of patient teaching and numerous socialization journeys over a 12 to 16 month period, before they return a well-socialized young adult dog to Guiding Eyes training staff.

All of the raiser’s hard work culminates when a visually impaired person receives his or her priceless gift − a guide dog providing independence, companionship, and mobility.

Before you fill out our Puppy Raiser Application, please take some time to explore this section of the website. Feel free to call us to discuss any questions you may have.

Region MapLOCATIONS

Guiding Eyes has puppy raisers primarily on the Eastern Seaboard, stretching from Maine to North Carolina, and west to Ohio. Puppy raisers are organized into groups that we call Puppy Raising Regions. As a new puppy raiser, you will be assigned to the region that is closest to where you live. Each region holds its own pre-placement training, puppy classes, and puppy assessments.

If you would like to become a puppy raiser, click to open your state below to determine if there is a puppy raising region in your area and to see region details about where the region classes are held. Most raisers live within an hour of where the region classes are held.

Connecticut

ConnecticutCentral Connecticut

Additional Information: Puppy raising classes are held on Tuesday evenings in Middlebury, CT. Please contact the Region Coordinator for class time and location. Learn more about the Central CT Puppy Raising Region on Facebook.

Maureen Hollis, Regional Manager
(845) 490-0143
mhollis@guidingeyes.org


Eastern CT

Additional Information: Puppy Raising classes are held on Saturday mornings at Ledyard Congregational Church in Ledyard. Please contact our Regional Coordinators to reserve your place in these fun and informative classes. Help raise a puppy that will become someone’s Guiding Eyes! Learn more about the Eastern CT Puppy Raising Region on Facebook.

Jim and Valerie Hazlin, Regional Coordinators
(860) 464-6286
easternctregion@guidingeyes.net


Northern CT

Additional Information: Puppy Raising classes are held on Monday evenings in either Granby or Avon. Please call the Regional Coordinator for details and to reserve your place in these fun, informative classes. Time to do something extraordinary – raise a puppy that will become someone’s Guiding Eyes. Learn more about the NCT Puppy Raising Region on Facebook.

Lillian Busse, Region Coordinator
(860) 618-0477
northernctregion@guidingeyes.net


Southern CT

Additional Information: Puppy raising classes are held on Saturday mornings. Class locations rotate between Deep River, Guilford and Wallingford, and East Haven. Please contact the Regional Manager (below) for additional information and class locations and dates. Learn more about the SCT Puppy Raising Region on Facebook.

Maureen Hollis, Regional Manager
(845) 490-0143
mhollis@guidingeyes.org


SouthWestern CT

Additional Information: Puppy raising classes are held on Thursdays evenings in the Westport/Wilton, CT area. Learn more about the SWCT Puppy Raising Region on Facebook.

Cora Martin, Co-Region Coordinator
(203) 834-0069
southwesternct@guidingeyes.net

Darlene Jacobs, Co-Region Coordinator
(203) 445-9432
southwesternct@guidingeyes.net

Delaware

Delmarva (DE/MD Eastern Shore)

Additional Information: Puppy Raising classes are held on the Tuesday evenings in Easton, MD. Please contact us if you are interested in finding out more about raising a future guide dog! Meet volunteers from the Delmarva Region on Facebook.

Marilyn Evey, Region Coordinator
(410) 310-7493
delmarvaregion@guidingeyes.net

Maine

Maine

Additional Information:   Our Maine region is divided into a northern and a southern region. Classes are held twice a month. In the northern region, classes generally alternate between Belfast and Bangor and are scheduled the second and forth Monday of the month. In the southern region, we meet in the greater Portland area on the second and fourth Fridays of the month. Please contact us for specific dates and times and for more information on our puppy raising program. Time to do something extraordinary – raise a puppy that will become someone’s Guiding Eyes.  Learn more about the Maine Puppy Raising Region on Facebook.

Janet Amberger, Inquiries & Applications
email preferred
maineregion@guidingeyes.net

Lee-Ann Leverone, Region Coordinator
email preferred
maineregion@guidingeyes.net

Maryland

Baltimore (MD)

Additional Information: Puppy raisers meet on Tuesday evenings in Owings Mills and other nearby towns. Please RSVP to Region Team member Holly Voelker, if you would like to attend! Meet volunteers from the Baltimore Region on Facebook.

Holly Voelker, Region Team Member
(410) 583-7551
baltimoreregion@guidingeyes.net

Jeanyne Gembarski, Regional Manager
(301) 767-6487
jgembarski@guidingeyes.org

Bay (MD)

Additional Information: Puppy raising classes are held on Monday evenings in Bowie, MD or Annapolis, MD. Please contact us if you are interested in finding out more about raising a future guide dog! Meet volunteers from the Bay Region on Facebook.

Rachel Brown, Region Coordinator
610-703-3272
bayregion@guidingeyes.net

Cindy Tait, Regional Manager
914-419-0548
ctait@guidingeyes.org

Catoctin (MD & PA)

Additional Information: Puppy classes are held every Thursday evening in Frederick, Maryland. Please contact Becky if you are interested in visiting a class and/or would like more information about raising a future guidedog. Meet volunteers from the Catoctin Region on Facebook.

Becky Little, Region Coordinator
(240) 440-4070
catoctinregion@guidingeyes.net

Jeanyne Gembarski, Regional Manager
(301) 767-6487
jgembarski@guidingeyes.org

Delmarva (DE/MD Eastern Shore)

Additional Information: Puppy Raising classes are held on the Tuesday evenings in Easton, MD. Please contact us if you are interested in finding out more about raising a future guide dog! Meet volunteers from the Delmarva Region on Facebook.

Marilyn Evey, Region Coordinator
(410) 310-7493
delmarvaregion@guidingeyes.net

Montgomery (MD)

Additional Information: Puppy raising classes are held nearly every Sunday of the month in various locations including Chevy Chase, Gaithersburg, and Germantown. Help give the gift of freedom to a visually impaired person! Website: www.guidingeyes-md.org

Jane Santy, Co-Region Coordinator
240-423-3682 or cell 301-299-4494
montgomeryregion@guidingeyes.net

Jeanyne Gembarski, Regional Manager
(301) 767-6487
jgembarski@guidingeyes.org

Massachusetts

Eastern MA (Mass)

Additional Information: Puppy raising classes are held on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month at various locations throughout eastern Massachusetts. Preplacement classes designed to introduce you to puppy raising are held 2-3 times a year. Please contact us for additional information or to observe one of our classes. Join us in this life changing opportunity of raising a future guide dog. Learn more about the Eastern Massachusetts Puppy Raising Region on Facebook.

Lynn Stas, Region Coordinator
(617) 852-5448
easternmaregion@guidingeyes.net

Lisa Bumbalo, Inquiries & Applications
email preferred
easternmaregion@guidingeyes.net

New Hampshire

New Hampshire

Additional Information: Puppy raising classes are held Sundays at the Pilgrim Congregational Church UCC in Nashua. Please contact the Region Coordinator for specific dates and times and for more information on our puppy raising program. Time to do something extraordinary – raise a puppy that will become someone’s Guiding Eyes! Learn more about the New Hampshire Puppy Raising Region on Facebook.

Bill LeBlanc Region Coordinator
phone preferred (603) 801-2117

Margaret Hughes, Region Team Helper
email preferred
newhampshireregion@guidingeyes.net

Michelle Russell, Inquiries & Applications
email preferred
newhampshireregion@guidingeyes.net

New York

Adirondack

Additional Information: (formerly Northern NY region) Puppy raising classes held twice monthly on Wednesdays at 5:30pm at the United Methodist Christ Church, 54 Bay St., Glens Falls. Please call for additional information and to reserve your place in these fun and informative classes! Do something extraordinary, raise a future guide dog! Meet volunteers from the Adirondack NY Region on Facebook.

Barb Paszul, Region Coordinator
email preferred
adirondackregion@guidingeyes.net

Kate Gardner, Regional Manager
email preferred
kgardner@guidingeyes.org

Capital (NY)

Additional Information: Puppy Raising classes and Pre-Placement Puppy Classes are designed to prepare you for raising a puppy to become someone’s Guiding Eyes. Classes are held two Tuesday evenings per month at the Lisha’s Kill Reformed Church , 2131 Central Avenue, Colonie, NY. For more information on class times or raising a puppy in the Capital region please contact the regional leader listed below.

Dianne Martin, Co-Region Coordinator
email preferred
capitalregion@guidingeyes.net

Ann Halburian, Co-Region Coordinator
(please contact Dianne)

Cattaraugus (NY)

Additional Information: Puppy raising classes held every 3rd Monday of each month at the Pioneer Middle School in Yorkshire, NY at 6pm. Meet volunteers from the Cattaraugus Region on Facebook.

Dawn Fiegl, Region Coordinator
(585) 322-4149
cattaraugusregion@guidingeyes.net

Susan Cooper, Region Team Member
(716) 373-2655
cattaraugusregion@guidingeyes.net

Denise Barber, Region Team Member
(716) 933-6152
cattaraugusregion@guidingeyes.net

Central New York (NY)

Additional Information: Classes are held on alternating Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings. Please contact one of the Region Coordinators listed below for a schedule of classes. Most classes held in the immediate Syracuse area.

Mekalea Chambliss, Co-Region Coordinator
(607)-281-5474
centralnyregion@guidingeyes.net

Mary Oonk, Co-Region Coordinator
(315)-447-5718
centralnyregion@guidingeyes.net

Dutchess (NY)

Additional Information: Classes are held on Wednesday evenings at the Canine Development Center or at a nearby location. Please contact your Region Coordinator for class time and location. Meet volunteers from the Dutchess Region on Facebook.

Kathi Carey, Region Coordinator
(845) 230-6432
dutchessregion@guidingeyes.net

Erie (NY)

Additional Information: Puppy Raising Classes held the first & third Mondays of each month at Pet Degree, 2055 Clinton St, Buffalo NY 14206 from 5 to 7 PM. We hold meetings, Puppy Pre-Placement classes and followups in many other locations throughout the community. Other class locations may be Hamburg, West Seneca or wherever space is granted throughout the community. Please contact your Region Coordinator for additional information. Meet volunteers from the Erie Region on Facebook.

Dianne Ende, Region Coordinator
(716) 480-1086
erieregion@guidingeyes.net

Fingerlakes (NY)

Additional Information: Foundations Classes held at the Cornell Veterinary School Atrium, Cornell Campus, Ithaca, NY. Please contact either Cassie or Deb for class times.

Cassie Houghton, Region Coordinator
(607) 846-8010
fingerlakesregion@guidingeyes.net

Deborah Watrous, Region Team Member
email preferred
fingerlakesregion@guidingeyes.net

Leatherstocking (NY)

Additional Information: Classes held every Thursday evening at the St. James Episcopal Church, 305 Main Street, Oneonta, NY, with parking behind the church off Elm Street. Please contact the Regional Manager for class times. Please contact either Amy or Joy for class times.

Amy Blechman, Region Coordinator
(607) 287-4842
leatherstockingregion@guidingeyes.net

Joy Hawksby, Regional Manager
email preferred
jhawksby@guidingeyes.org

Lower Westchester (NY)

Additional Information: Classes are held Tuesday nights at Andrus on Hudson in Hastings On Hudson, NY. Join this fun interactive volunteer opportunity and raise a Guiding Eyes puppy that will enable a visually impaired person achieve life’s dreams. Meet and follow the raisers and puppies of our Lower Westchester Region on Facebook!

Bethany Reinhardt, Regional Manager
(845) 230-6436
breinhardt@guidingeyes.org

Monroe (NY)

Additional Information: Puppy classes meet twice monthly, on Monday evenings. Locations and times vary; please contact the Region Coordinator for specific details. Meet volunteers from the Monroe Region on Facebook.

Pam Boy, Region Coordinator
(585) 385-9617
monroeregion@guidingeyes.net

Helen Newman, Region Coordinator
email preferred
monroeregion@guidingeyes.net

Orange County (NY)

Additional Information: Classes are held on Thursday nights at Goshen Senior Center in Goshen, NY. Pre-placement classes occur quarterly. Call or email Bethany Reinhardt, Regional Manager for more information and to sign up to attend these fun informative sessions about raising a puppy with a purpose.

Bethany Reinhardt, Regional Manager
(845) 230-6436
breinhardt@guidingeyes.org

Southern Tier (NY)

Additional Information: Puppy raising classes are held on the first and third Wednesdays of each month at 6:30PM at BOCES, 1126 Bald Hill Road, Hornell, NY. Meet volunteers from the Southern Tier Region on Facebook.

Sandy Shaw, Region Coordinator
(585) 335-2628
southerntierregion@guidingeyes.net

Shawn Carstens, Ass’t Region Coordinator
email preferred
southerntierregion@guidingeyes.net

Elizabeth Williams, Ass’t Region Coordinator
email preferred
southerntierregion@guidingeyes.net

Wayne County (NY)

Additional Information: Puppy Raising Classes are held on Tuesday evenings at various locations throughout Wayne, Ontario and Seneca Counties. Pre-placement classes, designed to prepare you for raising a puppy to become someone’s Guiding Eyes, are held quarterly. Please contact Cindy Swift, Region Coordinator, to find out more. Meet volunteers and pups from the Wayne County Region on Facebook.

Cindy Swift, Region Coordinator
(585) 797-8915
waynecountyregion@guidingeyes.net

Joy Hawksby, Regional Manager
email preferred
jhawksby@guidingeyes.org

Westchester (NY)

Additional Information: Puppy Raising Classes are held on Wednesday evenings at the Guiding Eyes training school in Yorktown Heights. Pre-placement classes, designed to prepare you for raising a puppy to become someone’s Guiding Eyes, are held at our Canine Development Center in Patterson. Please contact Bethany Reinhardt, our Regional Manager, to find out more or to RSVP to attend these fun informative classes. Meet volunteers from the Westchester Region on Facebook.

Bethany Reinhardt, Regional Manager
(845) 230-6436
breinhardt@guidingeyes.org

North Carolina

North Carolina

Additional Information: Raise a Puppy to become someone’s Guiding Eyes! Please Contact the Regional Coordinator to find out more about these fun and informative classes!Puppy raising classes: Raleigh Area: Wednesday evening, every other week 7:00 – 8:30 PM. Location alternates between locations in Cary, Raleigh and Durham. If a class is due to be held at an outside location and the weather forecast is calling for rain, the site will be changed to a location in Cary that will have protection from the elements. An e-mail will go out to our distribution list by 4:00 PM the day of class. Website: www.guidingeyesnc.org

Sherry Dodson, Region Coordinator
(919) 642-0185
northcarolinaregion@guidingeyes.net

Kirsten Shamblin, Assistant (Raleigh Area)
(919) 395-8124
northcarolinaregion@guidingeyes.net

Ohio

Cleveland West (Berea area)

Additional Information: Pre-Puppy Placement Orientation classes and Puppy Team classes usually meet every Thursday evening from 6pm to 9pm at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 276 East Bagley Road, Berea OH 44017. Interested individuals should confirm the class schedule for a particular evening. Please contact Theresa Camloh if you are interested in attending. Meet volunteers from the Guiding Eyes for the Blind Cleveland Puppy Raising Region on Facebook.

Theresa Camloh, PrePlacement Instructor
(440) 382-9848
clevelandwestregion@guidingeyes.net

Leslie Stephens, Regional Manager
(440) 930-5732
lstephens@guidingeyes.org

Cleveland East (North Randall area)

Additional Information: Puppy classes are held weekly on Wednesdays from 7:00 to 9:00 pm at Hrynik House, 21639 Miles Road, North Randall, Ohio. If you are interested, please contact Theresa Camloh. Meet volunteers from the Guiding Eyes for the Blind Cleveland Puppy Raising Region on Facebook.

Suzan Bocciarelli, Region Coordinator
(440) 286-6255
clevelandeastregion@guidingeyes.net

Theresa Camloh, PrePlacement Instructor
(440) 382-9848
clevelandeastregion@guidingeyes.net

Columbus (CBUS)

Additional Information: Puppy classes usually meet every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm and the first and third Tuesdays from 7pm to 8pm at University Baptist Church, 50 W. Lane Ave., Columbus, OH 43231. Please contact Janet Newcity if you are interested in attending.

Janet Newcity, Region Coordinator
(614) 457-4656
columbusregion@guidingeyes.net

Vermont

Vermont

Southwestern (VT)

Additional Information: Classes will be held on Thursday evenings at the West Mountain Animal Hospital, 1726 Harwood Hill Road, Bennington, VT 05201.  Time to do something extraordinary – raise a puppy that will become someone’s Guiding Eyes!

Tara Schatz, Region Coordinator
email preferred
southwesternvtregion@guidingeyes.net

Kate Gardner, Regional Manager
email preferred
kgardner@guidingeyes.org

Virginia/West Virginia

Dominion (VA)

Additional Information: Our headquarters are in the homes and lives of hundreds of volunteers from across the metro area including Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax County and McLean. We hold most of our classes in Fairfax, VA. Pre-placement classes, designed to prepare you for raising a puppy, are held at Pender Veterinary Centre in Fairfax. Meet volunteers from the Dominion region on facebook. Visit our website at www.gebdominion.org.

Marsha Clinton, Region Coordinator
email preferred
dominionregion@guidingeyes.net

Prince William (VA)

Additional Information: Puppy Raising Classes are held on Wednesday evenings at various locations in the county of Prince William. Pre-Placement classes are required before getting a puppy and take approximately six hours. Please contact us for more information and to sign up for these fun and informative sessions about raising a puppy with a purpose! Initially, weekly classes are required. After your pup is approximately 6 months old, classes will be twice a month. Curious visitors are always welcome to our classes! Please make sure we know of your intention to visit so that we may be able to greet you and answer your questions properly. Meet volunteers from the Prince William Region on Facebook.

Jodi Haveles, Regional Manager
(914) 420-0551
jhaveles@guidingeyes.org

Richmond (VA)

Additional Information: Puppy Raising Classes are held on Tuesday evenings at various locations in the Richmond area. Pre-Placement classes are required before getting a puppy and take approximately eight hours. Please contact us for more information and to sign up and take approximately eight hours. Please contact us for more information and to sign up for these fun and informative sessions about raising a puppy with a purpose! Initially, weekly classes are required. After your pup is approximately 6 months old, classes will be twice a month. Curious visitors are always welcome to our classes! Please make sure we know of your intention to visit so that we may be able to greet you and answer your questions properly. Meet volunteers from the Richmond Region on Facebook.

Nora Pierre, Richmond Region Coordinator
(804) 301-2550
richmondregion@guidingeyes.net

Shenandoah (VA & WVA)

Additional Information: Puppy raising classes are currently held in the Hamilton-Purcellville VA area. Contact the region coordinator for details on class dates, times and locations. Pre-Placement classes are required before getting a puppy. Visitors are always welcome at class, but email the Region Coordinator in advance if you wish to attend or to find out more about raising a puppy that will become someone’s Guiding Eyes. Meet volunteers from the Shenandoah Region on Facebook.

Kathleen McAllister, Region Coordinator
(304) 725-7191
shenandoahregion@guidingeyes.net

Virginia Beach (VA)

Additional Information: Puppy Raisers gather on Wednesday evenings. Currently this region is supported by experienced Guiding Eyes Puppy Raisers whom are able to accomplish independent study only. Please contact Jodi Haveles, Regional Manager at jhaveles@guidingeyes.org with any questions you may have.

Jodi Haveles, Regional Manager
(914) 420-0551
jhaveles@guidingeyes.org

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