Bus Service Has Gone to the Dogs, Literally
St. Petersburg, Fla. – Pet owners know a thing or two about teaching tricks. Some dogs can sit, stay and even roll over. Some very special dogs are about to one-up the competition.
They will learn how to ride the bus.
On Saturday, May 9th the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) will host the West Pinellas Puppy Raisers for a transit-training day to teach service dogs-in-training how to board and ride a public transit bus.
West Pinellas Puppy Raisers is a local group of volunteers who work with the Southeastern Guide Dogs, a non-profit organization that trains and nurtures guide dogs for visually impaired individuals free of charge.
Kathy Saunders, Area Coordinator for West Pinellas Puppy Raisers, says this type of exposure is critical because many guide dog users ride the bus.
“Learning to ride the bus is always an exciting moment for the dogs,” said Saunders. “It takes a few times for them to get used to the sounds and smells, but they catch on pretty quickly.”
Ruth, a golden retriever puppy, and her retired police officer parents Maggie and John Jewett, will be among the group of fifteen fur-babies at PSTA headquarters over the weekend.
- For training purposes, this event is not open to public. Members of the media are invited to attend and are encouraged to contact PSTA Media Liaison Ashlie Handy to setup interviews.
Press / Photo Opportunities
- West Pinellas Puppy Raisers
- Kath Saunders, Area Coordinator
- Melisa Reiter, Assistant Area Coordinator
- Puppy trainers
- PSTA staff
- Bob Lasher, External Affairs Officer
- Ed Kester, Safety, Security & Training Supervisor
About PSTA: The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority is the public transit provider for Pinellas County, providing more than 14.5 million rides per year. PSTA operates nearly 40 bus and trolley routes with a fleet of 203 vehicles. To learn more about the services offered by PSTA, or for schedule and fare information, passengers are invited to call the PSTA InfoLine at (727) 540-1900, or visit . PSTA is an equal opportunity employer.