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NBCUniversal Partners with America’s Vet Dogs: Service Dog Training at 30 Rock Begins

NBCUniversal collaborates with America’s Vet Dogs and their sister organization the Guide Dog Foundation for a unique Puppy-in-Training Program at 30 Rock. Discover how this initiative promotes accessibility and the long-standing commitment of NBCUniversal of supporting service animals.

a collage of puppies

November 10, 2023

In an effort to promote accessibility and educate employees, NBCUniversal has entered into an exciting partnershp with America’s Vet Dogs and their sister organization, the Guide Dog Foundation, on the Puppy-In-Training program. This initiative provides a comforting and valuable experience for employees, and also speaks to NBCUniversal’s commitment to accessibility.

What is America’s Vet Dogs?

For 20 years, America’s VetDogs has trained and placed guide and service dogs to provide independence, enhanced mobility, and companionship to veterans with disabilities from all eras. In 2015, VetDogs opened its programs to first responders, including fire, police, and emergency medical personnel.  America’s VetDogs is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization founded by the Guide Dog Foundation and serves clients from across the United States.

What is the Guide Dog Foundation?

The Guide Dog Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charity with a mission to improve the quality of life for people who are blind, have low vision, or have other disabilities. For more than 75 years since its founding in 1946, the organization has trained and placed guide dogs and service dogs to provide increased independence and enhanced mobility to people with disabilities.   

How Does America’s Vet Dogs Service Dog Training Program Work?

With the supervision of an experienced “puppy raiser”, the puppy will be raised and trained on-site at NBCUniversal’s 30 Rock office. Employees will take part in educational demonstrations, while the puppy will learn socialization and how to interact in large, busy environments. At the end of the puppy training period (14-16 months), the puppy will will formally enter service dog training in the hopes of graduating to become a certified service dog for a veteran or first responder with disabilities.

NBCUniversal's History with Service Animals

As one of the National Organization on Disability's Leading Disability Employer's NBCUniversal values accessibility and disability inclusion. They have long held a strong mission to support service animals through various programs and partnerships, including several with America’s Vet Dogs and their sister organization, the Guide Dog Foundation. TODAY's most-recent puppy with a purpose, Sunny, spent a year and a half educating TODAY show staff and viewers before becoming the first facility dog at the Henry Viscardi School at the Viscardi Center on Long Island, where he supports students with physical disabilities.

sunny on TODAY

Numerous other NBC shows have raised puppies on-air as well, including Camden at WBAL-TV’s, Charlie at TODAY, Izzy at 11 Alive, Brady at NBC Boston, and Zuma at NBC LA.

What's Next for the NBCUniversal Pup-In-Training?

In the upcoming weeks, employees will be participating in a contest to vote on a name for the puppy. To stay up to date with the NBCUniversal pup, and find out the chosen name, follow them on Instagram @NBCU_Pup.