<< Back to Blog

Hugh's Day: Remembering Dusty

By Craig Garretson, Communications Officer

A black and tan German shepherd rests on a deck, looking up at the camera.

Sad news to report as former Seeing Eye puppy Dusty passed away last month at the age of 11 ½ years of age from a liver condition. But Hugh and all guide dog puppies, as well as guide dog users, will always remember him!

Due to an attack by an unleashed dog while he was a puppy, Dusty was unable to fulfill his destiny of becoming a Seeing Eye dog. But Dusty did have an important legacy that benefits Hugh and all guide dog puppies as well as guide dog users in the state of New Jersey.

In 2014, New Jersey passed Dusty’s Law, which requires a police response for an attack on a guide dog. Previously, a dog-on-dog attack might be referred to an animal control officer, but these offices are usually not staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. After a guide dog is attacked, the dog may be too injured or traumatized to guide, leaving the person who is using that dog vulnerable and stranded. A police response ensures that guide dog team will get the immediate assistance they may need.

In addition, Dusty’s Law sets penalties for owners of dogs that attack service animals and guide dogs in training, and provides restitution for the owner of the injured service dog who may have receive emergency veterinary bills, lost wages, or even require replacement of the dog. Dusty’s legacy went beyond New Jersey as other states have adopted similar laws.

After Dusty was injured, he was adopted by a loving family and he lived a long and happy life as a beloved pet, renamed Pouncey.

Thank you for all you did for Seeing Eye puppies, dogs, and handlers!