What’s better than being able to help differently-abled humans? It’s being able to help differently-abled humans through dogs.
Dogs are intelligent and affectionate enough to provide a fresh pair of eyes to blind people. And Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation can prove that.
Learn who Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation is, how it started, and its current projects. Discover how you can support the organization by becoming a donor or volunteer.
Who is Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation?
Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation is a non-profit organization that ensures that visually impaired individuals can be more independent through service dogs.
This organization caters to Americans in the military, world-class athletes, professionals, and people raising families. They help these people improve their quality of life by training life-changing dogs to be a fresh pair of eyes for the blind.
So many success stories have been featured at Fidelco. Many visually impaired individuals say that having a guide dog helped them raise their children, develop their careers, travel, and enjoy life despite their disabilities.
Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation is located in Bloomfield and Wilton, Connecticut. It’s a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, meaning they don’t have fees for visually impaired clients, and the owners do not profit from the organization.
The foundation gets its support from other foundations, corporations, organizations, and individual donors. Find out how you can help them.
How Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation Started
Fidelco Guide Dog’s legacy dates back to the 60s. The founders, Roberta and Charles Kaman, had a German Shepherd Dog, which inspired them to raise and train more German Shepherds to enhance the lives of blind people.
The founders bred these dogs for stamina, health, and intelligence. Then, they gave the dog to other guide dog organizations for placement.
Fidelco only became an official training organization in 1981. They also had their first client this same year.
Later on, the charity expanded to accommodate more German Shepherds and to make training better for them. They also established their Apprentice Training Program for aspiring dog trainers.
The organization became so successful that it reached international clients in 2000.
Fidelco doesn’t just have a history of helping the blind. In 2001, Five dogs assisted in the search and rescue mission at the World Trade Center site.
The organization opened its training center in Wilton in 2016. And in 2020, they celebrated their 60th anniversary.
What Does Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation Do?
Fidelco’s mission is to help more visually impaired individuals worldwide by training guide dogs.
Individual evaluation is essential to make the guide dogs and clients suitable for each other. This process is also a critical part of taking care of these furry friends.
For example, Fidelco had a puppy who was reluctant to climb stairs. So they matched the puppy with a family whose house had stairs to help improve their skills.
But the organization has had several other projects as well.
For instance, during the months of pandemic restrictions, Fidelco used art and music as training tools for the guide dogs. The dogs had fun painting with their paws and rolling in paint to rest from training.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Fidelco continued training 17 guide dogs.
In October, Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation celebrates Octoberfest. You can provide sponsorship to the event or become a vendor for the event by selling yummy food. Check out their sponsorship and vendor opportunities on their website.
How Can You Help Fidelco Dog Foundation?
You can help Fidelco Dog Foundation by volunteering at their facility. You can support their events or fulfill administrative functions in their office.
Volunteering can also include socialization and care for the German Shepherd puppies.
Other options include:
- speaking engagements
- pup house.
Submit an application form now if you are interested in volunteering.
You can also help by donating. The Shepherd Club helps transform German Shepherd puppies into trusted guide dogs.
Their monthly program entitles you to exclusive access to the Kennel Cam, updates about where your donation is going, and recognition in FidelcoNews.
You can also contribute to the Vision Society to guarantee Fidelco’s long-term sustainability. In return, you’ll receive recognition on the website, special event invitations, and quarterly program updates.
Or you can spread awareness through social media by following and engaging with the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation’s social accounts here:
Support Fidelco Now
Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation has helped over 1000 clients in only sixty years. It has helped visually impaired individuals improve their quality of life, and many dogs acquire a sense of purpose by serving humans.
If you want to be part of this fantastic charity, you can support Fidelco by donating, raising a puppy, or volunteering. Check out the Fidelco website for more information.
Find a way to support other animal charities in our Animal Charity Spotlight series.