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look after them for the next few weeks. The veterinarians practice both eastern and western styles of medicine. The center has an examination room, an eye exam room, a genetics and reproduction procedures room, a laboratory, surgery room and a lounge. “The dogs absolutely love massage and acupuncture therapy. They respond to it in very positive ways,” Kern said. Only three kinds of dogs are raised at the facility – golden retrievers, Labradors and goldadors, which is a mix of the two breeds. Approximately 250 puppies are born there every year. The best part about the organization? They are able to provide these wonderful life companions free of charge. “There is absolutely no cost to our students who are teamed up with the dogs,” Kern said. Director of Puppy Raising Leslie Shepard is currently working with a 6-month-old puppy named Sarah. guide dog teams. Stephanie Kern, associate director of philanthropy at Southeastern Guide Dogs, said 34 years ago the administration building was a two-bedroom little house. A newly-constructed building is in the works that will have 12 bedrooms for students to stay in during the training period of 26 days. The construction should be finished around Labor Day. The new facility will even have a splash park and two full-time veterinarians on staff in the state-of-the-art Margaret & Isaac Barpal Veterinary Center. But it didn’t come easy to raise the $1.75 million for construction. “100 percent of our support is raised by private donations. We do not receive any kind of government funding,” Kern said. The owners of the breeding dogs work with the facility so the puppies are born right on campus. They stay there with their mothers until they are four weeks old, then early canine care managers 32 The 31,000-square-feet newly-constructed building is expected to be complete around Labor Day of this year.


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