Culture

Bay Area’s Guide Dogs for the Blind graduates 1,000th class of purposeful puppies


Debbie Hak holds Hagrid, a puppy guide dog trainee as...

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Guide Dogs for the Blind celebrated its 1,000th graduating class on Saturday.

The 8-week-old puppies were introduced to their “raisers,” who will care for them as they undergo training.

The San Rafael nonprofit, which also has a campus in Oregon, is the largest school of its kind in North America, according to the organization.

Founded in 1942, the nonprofit has trained 16,000 dogs as assistants to the visually impaired. All services are offered free and are supported by private donations and volunteers.

Debbie Hak holds Hagrid, a puppy guide dog trainee as Lily Hanson, center, and Madelyn Vilere look on during Guide Dogs for the Blind’s 1,000th graduation day at its center in San Rafael, Calif., on Mar. 30, 2024. (Douglas Zimmerman/Special to the Marin Independent Journal)

San Rafael Mayor Kate Colin congratulates Debbie Mak after delivering puppy Hagrid to her during Guide Dogs for the Blind’s 1,000th graduation day at the nonprofit’s center in San Rafael, Calif., on Mar. 30, 2024. (Douglas Zimmerman/Special to the Marin Independent Journal)

Vanessa Lyens talks to a crowd gathered during Guide Dogs for the Blind’s 1,000th graduation day at the nonprofit’s center in San Rafael, Calif., on Mar. 30, 2024. (Douglas Zimmerman/Special to the Marin Independent Journal)

Dog raiser Debbie Mak holds Hagrid, a puppy guide dog, during a pet by Lily Hanson during Guide Dogs for the Blind’s 1,000th graduation day at the nonprofit’s center in San Rafael, Calif., on Mar. 30, 2024. Mak will raise Hagrid to become a guide dog. (Douglas Zimmerman/Special to the Marin Independent Journal)

Larry Meisner, an executive at Guide Dogs for the Blind, speaks at the nonprofit’s 1,000th graduation day at its center in San Rafael, Calif., on Mar. 30, 2024. (Douglas Zimmerman/Special to the Marin Independent Journal)

Kasey Hopper of Tucson, Arizona, pets Chance, a Labrador retriever he received as his guide dog, during Guide Dogs for the Blind’s 1,000th graduation day at the nonprofit’s center in San Rafael, Calif., on Mar. 30, 2024. (Douglas Zimmerman/Special to the Marin Independent Journal)

Rosa Calderon of San Clemente, …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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