Blind World Magazine

Guide Dog-in-training stolen from Guide Dog School.

November 16, 2005.
The Desert Sun.

A chocolate Labrador being trained as a seeing eye dog by Guide Dogs of the Desert was reported stolen Tuesday near the Spa Resort Casino in Palm Springs.

Halo, described as a 55-pound, "petite" Labrador, was locked inside the dog's kennel by a trainer shortly after 7:30 a.m. following a training session, officials said.

The 2-year-old Labrador was one of several inside an organization van parked near Amado Road and Calle El Segundo, said Kim Laidlaw, director of the Whitewater organization. The van was open.

When the trainer returned from walking another dog - a window of about 15 minutes - Halo's kennel was open, and she was gone, Laidlaw said.

Halo was nearing the end of her training but had yet to have an identification microchip inserted under her skin.

"We don't microchip them until after they graduate," Laidlaw said.

"I can't understand why someone would steal a dog, let alone one being trained to be a pair of eyes for someone in need."

She added that trainers walk the dogs in that area three times a week and have left the vans open before without any trouble.

In an effort to find Halo, employees of the Guide Dog of the Desert organization canvassed downtown Palm Springs, passing out fliers containing photos of the dog Tuesday afternoon.

End of article.

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