Meet the Staff


Our staff is committed to helping our blind and visually impaired students lead a more productive life with the aid of a guide dog companion.

Russell Gittlen, President, Director

Russell Gittlen

Phone: (818) 833-6427
Fax: (818) 833-6427

Breeding Department

We breed our own guide dogs to provide the best quality dog possible for our blind and visually impaired guide dog recipients.

Computer Department

Provides the software and infrastructure experience necessary to keep Guide Dogs of America on the cutting-edge of Information Technology.

Facilities & Maintenance

Keeps our 7 ½ acre park-like campus running smoothly and attends to the needs of our staff as it relates to facilities and equipment.

Eric Hawes, Gardener

Eric Hawes


gorman herrera gardner

Gorman Herrera


connie torres dorm housekeeper

Connie Torres

Dorm house keeper
Phone: (818) 838-4604


Affectionately known as Camp GDA, our Kennel provides boarding facilities and activities for our puppies and working guides while they are away from home.

Brooke Patterson Kennel tech

Brooke Patterson

Kennel Tech

Xochitl Sanchez, Kennel Tech

Xochitl Sanchez

Kennel Tech

Nataly Diaz, Kennel Tech

Nataly Diaz

Kennel Tech

Thomas Kemper Kennel Tech

Thomas Kemper

Kennel Tech

Tiffanie Tayrien

Tiffanie Tayrien

Kennel Tech

kennel tech, sydney

Sydney Fujishige

Kennel Tech

Marketing, Media Relations, & Outreach

Informs the public and media about Guide Dogs of America. Educates communities at hundreds of health fairs and through outreach programs and special events.

Puppy Department

Places our puppies in loving foster-homes and assists the puppy raisers until the dogs are ready to come in for formal training.

Training Department

Our licensed instructors provide the guide dogs with the formal training they require in order to assist their visually impaired partners.

Veterinary Department

Our state-of-the-art clinic is committed to the care and health of our hundreds of puppies-in-training and our working guides. Guide Dogs of America’s Veterinary Department is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. To make a veterinary appointment, please call 818-833-6470. 24-hour assistance is available for canine emergencies: For emergency assistance outside normal business hours, please call (818) 362-5834 and dial 0. Our fax number is (818) 833-6470.

Tom Cole Vet

Tom Cole, DVM


Gary Uyeno, DVM