Council Considers Expanding Guide-Dog Laws | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Council Considers Expanding Guide-Dog Laws

Play associated audio

By Peter Granitz

The D.C. Council will consider today whether to grant guide-dogs-in-training the same access and rights that full service animals have.

Jo Anne Walser raises puppies as a volunteer for the Guide Dog Foundation, housing and training them from just weeks old until they're ready to move on to professionals who mold them into service animals worth tens-of-thousands-of-dollars.

They never leave her side, even when she flies or drives long distances for work.

At her home in Bristow, Virginia, she's teaching Opal, a 6 month-old golden retriever how to lead a blind person.

"The proper position for these dogs is different than your standard heel," says Walser.

She says the most important part of her job is exposing dogs to different environments, from the spread of land she has to crowded streets in D.C. But she says workers at the National Zoo have given her a hard time and a friend training a puppy was asked to leave the Lincoln Memorial.

She says the D.C. bill will make her job easier.

"There have been times where I've been some place in Virginia where somebody started giving me a hard time and I pull out the law and say: 'Oh by the way. Part of what we do is educate,'" she says.

A final vote could come later this month. It's already passed the Public Safety and Judiciary committees.

NPR

'This Fight Begins In The Heart': Reading James Baldwin As Ferguson Seethes

Protests in Ferguson, Mo., continue in response to the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by police on Aug. 9. The incident reminds author Laila Lalami of James Baldwin's Notes of a Native Son.
NPR

Specialty Food And Agriculture Startups Are Ripening In Greece

Sotiris Lymperopoulos left a good job in Athens to collect wild sea greens for upscale restaurants. Food startups like his may be able to generate thousands of new jobs in post-crisis Greece.
WAMU 88.5

Testimony: Maureen McDonnell Was Prone To Angry Outbursts

In the corruption trial of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, a former staffer says the ex-first lady became increasingly volatile as she prepared for public appearances.
NPR

Ex-Microsoft CEO Ballmer Steps Down From Company's Board

Steve Ballmer, 58, on Tuesday resigned from the software giant's board because of other time consuming commitments including his new ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.