CHAIRE is excited to announce that Pilot Dogs is partnering with the Human-Animal Interactions Club to develop a puppy raising program. Pilot Dogs is a school here in Columbus, OH that trains dogs to become guides for blind and visually impaired people, helping them achieve greater independence and mobility. CHAIRE has supported and worked with Pilot Dogs for several years, but we are looking forward to this new partnership to assist with the socialization and training of puppies that will hopefully go on to become 'Pilot Dogs.'
Undergraduate students in the Human-Animal Interactions Club will have the opportunity to become a Co-Pilot, and will be responsible for the care and training of a young dog in the early stages of their guide dog training. As part of this program, students will have regular interactions with Pilot Dogs' trainers to learn proper handling and training methods, and gain an appreciation for the immense amount of time and effort that goes into raising a dog guide. Club members who are unable to take on the duties of puppy raising will also have the opportunity to participate in these training sessions, to learn the skills and gain practice with training. Student Co-Pilots will also have constant access to a support system of veterinary care, training guidance, and boarding when necessary. Additionally, the club will create a network of 'puppy-sitters' to ensure the dogs will continue to receive the appropriate care and training when the primary Co-Pilot is unavailable.
Pilot Dogs' Executive Director Jim Alloway, along with Pam Miller and Carmen Ciolli spoke to the club last night about getting the program started - and brought a few puppies for students to meet. We are thankful to Pilot Dogs for their willingness to go above and beyond in developing this program and are excited for the opportunity to help support their mission in this way.
If you are a current OSU undergraduate student interested in getting involved, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info!
Non-OSU students are also able to become Co-Pilots - visit their website (https://www.pilotdogs.org/) to find the Co-Pilot application, and all the other ways you can support Pilot Dogs.