USF St. Petersburg Puppy Club students are training dogs for veterans and the visually-impaired

Posted at 3:09 PM, Sep 27, 2017

The University of South Florida, St. Petersburg (USFSP), Puppy Club students created "Puppy Love," an organization that raises guide dogs for the Living, Learning Community. 

Puppy Club members received their first puppy, an adorable yellow lab named Pete.

"Petey," as he's affectionately called, was born on June 28th at another guide dog school, Southeastern Guide Dogs. 

Students in the program are training to handle puppies for about a year's time, teaching puppies basic obedience and house manners, then socializing them among dogs and other people.

After age 1, puppies are returned to the Southeastern Guide Dogs, where they enter Guide Dog University for another six months of intensive harness training by certified teachers. 

The dogs that raise to the highest levels of health, intelligence, trainability and desire to work are matched with either a visually-impaired person or a veteran with PTSD or some other disability. 

The goal is for the puppies to transform the lives of its new owners. 

Stephanie Campos, Petey's raiser, is the president of the USFSP Puppy club.

"We have supplied crates and supplies for Petey and the students can't wait meet," said a media contact from the organization. "All of the students received 'puppy kits,' with toys and treats so they can help raise Petey to be a confident guide dog." 

Other interested club members are also raising puppies as well, and are currently going through training sessions.