For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Barlak, 973-775-8350

December 22, 2022

The Seeing Eye Celebrates 18,000 Seeing Eye® Teams

Paralympian Triathlete is paired with Labrador Retriever Named Hugh

A black Lab guides a young man through a crosswalk in Morristown. Inset: A young man smiles with his black Lab. They are seated between a Christmas tree and a fireplace.

MORRISTOWN, N.J. – In December, The Seeing Eye passed an important milestone when it paired Kyle Coon of Colorado Springs, Colo. with a 2-year-old black Labrador retriever named Hugh, making them the 18,000th team to graduate from the program since 1929. This milestone is reached as the non-profit approaches its 94th anniversary in January.

“How amazing it is to pair Kyle with Hugh, to help guide him on all of the journeys that life takes them on. Just like every team that came before, their partnership was created with careful consideration, and support from countless individuals throughout the community,” said Seeing Eye President & CEO Peggi Howard. “We are so grateful for the graduates who choose our dogs, the puppy raisers and staff who lovingly care for our dogs, and all of the volunteers and donors who came together to play a part in creating 18,000 Seeing Eye partnerships over the last 94 years.”

Coon, a 31-year-old triathlete, motivational speaker and author, is a member of the U.S. Paratriathlon Resident Team in Colorado Springs. In his free time, he enjoys rock climbing, downhill skiing and playing the guitar. Hugh is Coon’s third Seeing Eye dog.

“From the time I was a little kid, I dreamed of being able to cruise around independently with a dog. Now I’ve been matched with Hugh, my third Seeing Eye Dog, and I can’t begin to express how much confidence I have when we’re out and about,” said Kyle Coon. “As Team USA athletes we dedicate a certain portion of our lives to being the best in our chosen sport. Hugh is dedicated to making sure we travel smoothly and safely. I’m extremely honored and humbled to be part of the 18,000th match in The Seeing Eye’s history, and I can’t wait to see what adventures Hugh and I experience together from here on out.”

Established in 1929, The Seeing Eye provides specially bred and trained dogs to guide people who are blind. Seeing Eye dog users experience greatly enhanced mobility and independence, allowing them to retain their active lifestyles despite blindness. The Seeing Eye is a 501(c)3 non-profit supported by contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations, bequests, and other planned gifts.

The Seeing Eye is a trademarked name and can only be used to describe the dogs bred and trained at the school’s facilities in Morristown, N.J. If you would like more information on The Seeing Eye, please visit the website at, call (973) 539-4425, or email