Islanders Fans Votes Are In, The Third New York Islanders’ Puppy With a Purpose® Will Be Named “Monte”

New York Islanders partner with Guide Dog Foundation to raise and train Monte 

Smithtown, NY. – The Guide Dog Foundation, a New York based-non-profit that provides guide dogs to individuals who are blind or visually impaired, is thrilled to partner again with the New York Islanders in their “Puppy with a Purpose” program supported by Canidae. In celebration of the Foundation’s 75th anniversary, the Islanders will train future guide dog “Monte.”

Monte sitting in his jersey while on the practice rink.Monte, a 9-week-old, male black Labrador puppy, made his debut with the Islanders on October 11th during the team’s fifth annual ‘Pucks and Paws 2022’ calendar photoshoot. The calendar, benefitting the Guide Dog Foundation and supported by Canidae, will go on sale in time for “Black Friday” shopping.  Calendars will be available for purchase online via the Islanders website and at home games. 
Monte, a black Labrador, will undergo basic training and socialization with the Islanders’ staff, fans and public for the next 14-16 months. The Islanders will host Monte at community events and select home games to assist in raising him to be a confident and calm future guide dog. Fans can follow Monte on Instagram at @NYIslesPup to stay up to date on his training and local appearances. 

Following his puppy raising, Monte will return to the Guide Dog Foundation campus in Smithtown, NY to begin his formal guide dog training. Concluding his training, Monte will be matched at no cost with an individual who is blind or visually impaired. 

"It’s an absolute pleasure to partner again with our friends at the New York Islanders to help celebrate the Guide Dog Foundation’s 75th anniversary," John Miller, President and CEO, Guide Dog Foundation said. "What’s better than to be here in our hometown on Long Island to continue this partnership for the third time with the New York Islanders? The partnership is outstanding. Ownership, coaches, the team, and fans, all have embraced the program and we couldn't be any happier to continue this life changing program with the team."

Monte is the third dog the Islanders has partnered with the Smithtown based organization to raise and train. In June, the Islanders and America's VetDogs, sister organization to the Guide Dog Foundation, placed service dog in training Tori with retired U.S. Navy Veteran and FDNY Lieutenant Chris Roberto. The Islanders first dog Radar was successfully placed as a guide dog in August 2020 with gold medalist Paralympian swimmer and Long Island native Anastasia Pagonis. 

It costs over $50,000 to breed, raise, train, and place one assistance dog; however, all of the VetDogs’ services are provided at no charge to the individual.  Funding comes from the generosity of individuals, corporations, and service and fraternal clubs.

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For 75 years, the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, Inc. (, has trained and placed guide and service dogs to provide independence, enhanced mobility, and companionship to people who are blind, have low vision, or have other special needs. The Guide Dog Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization serving clients from across the United States and Canada. The Foundation relies on contributions from generous individuals, corporations, service clubs, and foundations to fund its mission to serve people with disabilities. It costs over $50,000 to breed, raise, train, and place one assistance dog, but the Guide Dog Foundation provides its services completely free of charge to the individual.  Its sister organization, America’s VetDogs, trains and provides guide, service, and hearing dogs for disabled veterans and first responders. The Guide Dog Foundation was the first assistance dog school in the United States to be accredited by both the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International.