ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - University of South Florida student Stephanie Campos has a four-legged pupil of her own. ‘Petey’ is living with her for now, but he isn't hers for keeps; she's training him as part of the Southeastern Guide Dogs puppy-raiser program.
"It's been great,” she said. “He has been going outside with me. We've been doing our training. He gets all the love and attention from everyone that walks by.”
Petey is the first puppy in the program to be raised in a dorm. He will spend about a year with Campos.
"They have to house-break the puppy, they have to socialize the puppy, get him used to the community," explained Kathy Saunders of Southeastern Guide Dogs.
The experience with a college student can be beneficial for the dog down the road.
"They walk a lot of places. They go to cafes, go to restaurants. This is the life that the dog will have when it is a working service guide dog for a blind handler,” continued Saunders.
Campos feels good that she's nurturing a dog for a greater purpose. "A year from now, he could be helping someone who needs him."
For more information on Southeastern Guide Dog, click over to www.guidedogs.org.