Seeing Eye Puppy Raisers Thank Roseland Borough Council for Support

Sharon Kessel & Fallon with Roseland Mayor John Duthie Credits: Rich Leonard
Sharon Kessel and Fallon Address Roseland Borough Council Credits: Rich Leonard
Fallon (center) and fellow graduates carved into watermelon centerpiece at their graduation from the program Credits: Rich Leonard
Puppy-raisers and puppies take over the Roseland Borough Hall multipurpose room each Thursday. Credits: Rich Leonard

ROSELAND, NJ - This week the Roseland Borough Council Meeting went to the dogs for a short time. Stopping by to see the Council was 16-month-old Fallon, a puppy being raised to hopefully soon be a Seeing Eye Dog.

Fallon was accompanied by his volunteer puppy-raiser, Sharon Kessel of West Orange, who spoke for Fallon and all the volunteers and dogs in the Eyes of Hope Essex County Puppy Raiser Club.

Each Thursday, the multipurpose room of the Borough Hall is filled with the dogs and their puppy-raisers, all under the watchful eye of expert club leaders who review all the dogs. Breeds include German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers and a Lab/Golden cross. Kessel said she and Fallon went to the council meeting to say thank you.

Sign Up for E-News

“Without the space, we would never be as successful as we are,” said Kessel.

The council visit was especially poignant for Kessel as Fallon will be handed back to The Seeing Eye, based out of Morristown, on March 3. There, Fallon will undergo professional guide-dog training before being placed with a visually impaired person.

Kessel has had Fallon since the puppy was seven weeks old.

“It’s sad, and you cry, and then get another puppy to raise,” said Kessel, when asked if it was hard giving up a dog she’s raised for 15 months.

Kessel said being a puppy-raiser involves investing a lot of time and effort with the dog.

“We nurture and care for them until they are 13-16 months old, teaching them basic manners and commands, how to handle social situations, how to ignore other dogs, take them on trips to get used to new locations, etc.,” she said.

Puppy-raisers who are interested in the program speak with the Seeing Eye staff initially and then the club leader in their area. If invited, the interested individual attends a club meeting to fill out an application to raise a puppy. They are also asked for references, who are contacted before being accepted into the program.

Over the past 22 years, through the Roseland program, 30-40 puppies per year have been raised for the program. Seeing Eye dogs are placed in the United States, Canada or Puerto Rico with visually impaired individuals who qualify. 

When a person gets a dog, a required $150 fee includes transportation for the person to the Seeing Eye, four weeks of stay at the Seeing Eye campus and all the training and equipment needed. Veterans in need of a Seeing Eye dog are charged only $1.

One question Kessel often hears is, “are the dogs adoptable?” if they don’t pass the training program.

“First right of refusal goes to the puppy raiser, then to law enforcement as a police dog if the dog is qualified, and if those both don’t happen, public adoption is available,” said Kessel.  

According to Kessel, there is a two-to-three-year waiting list for dogs that are put up for adoption. Kessel said she and Fallon went to the council to show what the community can do together.

“It is a good thing for a community to open up facilities for those in need. Dogs are a lifesaver,” said Kessel.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

West Essex

Free Flavors Soft Serve Ice Cream (Jr. Cup or Cone) With Coupon

May 23, 2018

Fairfield, NJ - Flavors Homemade Ice Cream is offering a FREE soft serve ice cream (jr. cup or cone) when you spend $10 or more with coupon.

Flavors Homemade Is located at 653 Rt 46 West (1.98 mi) in Fairfield, New Jersey 07004 next to Jose Tejas.

*Homemade Ice Cream

*Italian Ice


*Fresh waffles 

*ice ...

Evolve Cycle And Fitness Presale Happening Now!

CALDWELL, NJ - Evolve Cycle and Fitness is now offering 10 classes for only $90. That’s only $9 a class when you purchase before its official Grand Opening on Friday, June 1, 2018. 

Only two weeks left to take advantage of this limited time offer! Call Martha at 973-979-5919 or click here to sign up.

Evolve Cycle and Fitness is a Premier Fitness Boutique ...

West Essex Softball's Lilly James Named Athlete of the Week

May 20, 2018

NORTH CALDWELL, NJ — In her senior season at West Essex High School, Athlete of the Week Lilly James has made an impact as both a physical and vocal leader on the West Essex softball team.

“[I’m] just staying confident with myself and trying to push my confidence into everyone else so they can have the same amount and hit as well as me and my other teammates so we can ...

Montclair HS Student Reported Sexual Assault in All-Gender Bathroom, Officials Say

May 17, 2018

MONTCLAIR, NJ - According to published reports on Wednesday, Montclair Police officials are investigating allegations of sexual assault reported to have occurred in a bathroom at Montclair High School.

Montclair police officials state that officers received a report about an incident at the high school of a sexual nature that occurred around 3:18 p.m. on Monday. The ...

Upcoming Events


Thu, May 24, 6:30 PM

West Caldwell Public Library, West Caldwell

"The Infinite Variety of Shakespeare's Women"

Arts & Entertainment


Fri, May 25, 9:00 AM

Roseland Public Library , Roseland

Basics of Microsoft Word, Excel, and other tech ...



Mon, May 28, 6:00 PM

Roseland Public Library , Roseland

Drop-In Tech Night


CCM Golf Team Sweeps Conference and Region Titles

May 19, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ —For the second time since 2007, the County College of Morris (CCM) Titans Golf Team has won both the conference and region championships in the same season, earning them a place in the national championship.

The team’s overall record for the year was 36-1 with the only loss coming at the hands of Ocean County College by two strokes back in mid-March.

Galloping ...


Jan 7, 1927 - May 10, 2018
Benjamin Cappiello, 91, of Roseland, died on May 10, 2018 at home surrounded by his loving ...
Read more

10-Year-Old Cancer Patient Receives Donation from Randolph Hockey Family

May 21, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ — While the inter-town hockey battles on the ice between Randolph and Roxbury are fierce at every age level, when it comes to real-life battles off the ice, there is no hesitation to offer help to their neighbor.

Such is the case with a recent gesture of unity and support from the members of the Randolph varsity hockey team, when they came together to ...

A Royal Pain

I went to a big wedding over the weekend.  It was in England.

I like to think I was invited, but according to the Royal Guards and the Thames Valley Police I was not.  But more about that later.

You see, not too long ago I received an evite addressed to me from H&  Curiously, it was in my spam folder with a warning message. For an evite it was pretty ...