ST. FRANCIS – Wis. – Charlee Bear Products announced it is voluntarily recalling certain lots of its Protein Crunch Bar products because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. There have been no reported animal or human illneses related to these products. For more information please call Charlee Bear Dog Products.
In October, Charlee Bear Products and Dogbook, the virtual and mobile social network for dog lovers, worked together to create an online contest that “raised treats” for Guide Dogs of America. Guide Dogs of American, founded in 1948, trains highly skilled assistance dogs that transform the lives of the people they live with.
The contest was a great success and Charlee Bear is sending 100,000 treats to Guide Dogs of American to arrive in time for Thanksgiving!
We talked with Daryl Lasky of Guide Dogs of American and he answered some questions for us about this organization the important work it is doing.
CB: Can you give us a little background on Guide Dogs of America?
Daryl: Guide Dogs of America was founded in 1948 when a retired member of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers was turned away from all the existing guide dog schools because of his advanced age – he was only 57. In order to address the needs of Mr. Jones and others who were turned away from established guide dog schools, IAMAW founded Guide Dogs of America. Consequently, GDA consistently graduates a large number of students over 60 years of age. In fact, it is not rare for us to graduate students who are in their 70’s or even 80’s. We ask that students be at least 18 years of age before receiving their first guide dog.
CB: How many teams have you graduated since inception and how many teams graduate per year?
Daryl: Since our inception in 1948, Guide Dogs of America has graduated over 3,000 teams, and by the end of this year, we will have graduated 54 Guide Dog Teams in 2011.
CB: How long is the training process for the person/guide dog from pairing to graduation?
Daryl: The training period for first time students is 28 days and 21 days for those who previously had a guide dog companion.
CB: Are their teams in every state or are they localized?
Daryl: Currently, Guide Dogs of America has working teams in 31 states and two provinces in Canada.
CB: What makes a successful guide dog/human team?
Daryl: In a successful guide dog team, the dog and handler work together to get from place to place. The guide dog doesn’t know where the destination is, so it must follow the student’s instructions on how far to go and when to turn. The student cannot see the obstacles along the way, so the guide dog must make its own decisions as to how to navigate the team’s path. Each half of the team relies on the other to accomplish the tasks at hand.
CB: How does someone get a dog?
Daryl: For a person to be eligible for our program, they must be legally blind. An individual who is legally blind has a visual acuity of 20/200 in the better eye with the best correction, or a visual field of no more than 20 degrees. Students must also have completed orientation and mobility training. While our program is offered at no cost to students from all over the United States and Canada, we do ask that graduates have the financial ability to provide necessary food and medical care for a guide dog, as well as a stable home environment. In addition to providing free travel to and from the school, we also cover the cost of housing our students in our on-site dormitory.
CB: Do the people who receive dogs use treats?
Daryl: While a dog is in formal training, we only use praise and positive reinforcement to train our dogs. This is because we do not want them to become food-distracted. However, many of our dogs, once they graduate, receive treats from their blind or visually impaired companions. In addition, until the dogs come in for formal training their Puppy Raisers often give them treats. Charlee Bears are the treat of choice for almost all of our Puppy Raisers and graduates. Simply because the dogs love them and they are low in calories.
CB: How many of the 370 puppies in training will actually go on to become Guide Dogs.
Daryl: It is important to remember that not all of Guide Dog of America’s puppies are able to be guide dogs. Unfortunately, approximately 40% are removed from the program due to problems with health or temperament, e.g. allergies, hip or elbow dysplasia, overly friendly, cat or other dog distractions, etc. These problems can develop even after the dog has entered formal guide dog training. While it is tremendously disappointing for all to remove dogs from the program, the safety and well-being of the students is first and foremost.
Daryl agrees that both the guide dog puppy raisers and the guide dogs will be excited and happy with their Charlee Bear Dog Treats. We here at Charlee Bear are happy and excited that our treats can be part of the great work that Guide Dogs of American is doing.
For more information about Guide Dogs of America or Dogbook visit:www.guidedogsofamerica.org and www.facebook.com/Dogbookapp
Charlee Bear Products, Dogbook, Guide Dogs of America team up for treat donations
October 4, 2011
Charlee Bear Products, a dog treat maker, has teamed up with Dogbook, a virtual and mobile social network for dog lovers, and Guide Dogs of America for the first Web-based "Dogs Helping Dogs" chartiy giveaway.
Charlee Bear will donate 10 treats to Guide Dogs of America for every new user that joins Dogbook at https://apps.facebook.com/dogbook, with the ultimate goal of donating 100,000 treats.
"Charlee Bear Products is excited to work with Dogbook on its 'Dogs Helping Dogs' giveaway, says Ava Olsen, brand manager for Charlee Bear. "Our company was founded on the important and wonderful relationship between people and dogs, and working with Guide Dogs of America is a fantastic opportunity to reinforce this bond."