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Metrolink last week hosted a training exercise for a dozen puppies set to become working guide dogs and service on public transportation.
The puppies are being trained by Guide Dogs of America | Tender Loving Canines (GDA | TLC), which has trained dogs for visually impaired people for over 70 years.
The day began at the Sylmar/San Fernando Station in Southern California, where puppies and handlers boarded the Antelope Valley Line train to Los Angeles Union Station. The puppies practiced sitting at handlers' feet out of the way of other passengers, and once at Union Station, they practiced basic obedience skills amid the hustle and bustle of commuters.
Metrolink CEO Darren Kettle and Metrolink board member Paul Krekorian accompanied the puppies and trainers to Union Station. Besides training dogs for public transportation, the organization also trains dogs to help those with post-traumatic-stress syndrome and autism and place trained dogs in hospitals, schools and courtrooms.
"As a fully inclusive passenger railroad that is open to service animals, Metrolink is proud to help GDA | TLC to bring puppies onto our system for this training experience," said Kettle in a press release. "Many of these dogs will have a human partner soon and this training is essential to keeping both the dog and the person safe throughout a journey."