Blind World Magazine

Increasing your pet's chances of being rescued.

November 07, 2005.
Asheville Citizen Times, North Carolina.

ASHEVILLE - Now pet owners can do something that might save their furry friends' lives one day, while helping a good cause at the same time.

Leader Dogs for the Blind, a nonprofit organization that has been providing guide dogs free of charge to blind and visually impaired people since 1939, is selling "Save My Pet" window decals at Pet Supplies Plus stores, including the chain's Asheville location. The stickers increase a pet's chances of being rescued in the event of a fire, emergency evacuation or natural disaster.

In the face of danger, pets instinctively flee and hide, making it more difficult for emergency workers to rescue them. This was evident recently in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. By letting rescue workers know that a pet is inside, the window decals increase an animal's chances of being saved, if this can be done without undue risk to the emergency crew.

The brightly colored decals stick to windows by static cling, with no adhesives required. This makes it easy to peel off the decals without damaging the glass if a family moves or a pet is no longer in the home.

Pet owners can check off the number of dogs, cats, birds and other animals in the house on the postcard-sized decals.

Available at Pet Supplies "Plus" stores, the decals cost $3. All proceeds from the sale go directly to Leader Dogs For The Blind.

Since its founding almost 70 years ago, Leader Dogs for the Blinds has matched 13,000 highly trained leader dogs with blind and visually impaired people from around the world. In addition to breeding, raising and training its own guide dogs, the nonprofit operates a training center/school at its Rochester, Michigan facility, where students come to learn how to work with a guide dog. More than friendly companions, guide dogs help their owners achieve a high level of mobility and independence.

Guide dogs are taught safe guide skills, such as find commands and obstacle avoidance, so they can help their human companions lead fuller and richer lives.

Each year, about 300 teams (dog/individual) graduate from the school.

While the cost incurred by Leader Dogs for the Blind for each graduating team is about $35,000, the organization provides its services completely free of charge. To learn more about the fund-raising decals, call the Asheville Pet Supplies "Plus" store at 277-8020. For more information on Leader Dogs for the Blind, call (888) 777-5332, e-mail or visit

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