It’s true that not all heroes wear capes. Some of them bark and have four legs.
For 75 years, Guide Dog Foundation has been training canine heroes to assist the blind, visually impaired, immobile, and other persons with disabilities.
Find out more about Guide Dog Foundation, what they do, and how you can help them help others.
Who is Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind?
Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind currently provides guide dogs free of charge to the blind and those who need help with mobility. Their guide dog training school is in Smithtown, 40 miles east of New York City.
Their mission is primarily to improve quality of life for people who are blind, have low vision, or have other mobility needs.
They do this by giving dogs a sense of purpose. They have been breeding, raising, and training guide dogs to be heroes for these people in need.
The organization also offers extensive public education to help students understand vision, visual impairment, and disability rights.
How Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind Started
Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind was established in 1946 after World War II.
Five individuals founded a guide dog school for people, especially veterans, who were visually impaired.
The original office was located in Forest Hills, Queens, but later moved to Smithtown, New York.
Experimentation was the norm in the 1940s. Instructors worked together to find the best training method for dogs that would allow them to maximize their potential as guide dogs.
Today, training dogs is more humane, safe, and enjoyable for dogs. These innovative enhancements are also more effective and can meet the evolving needs of individuals.
The foundation is the first assistance dog school in the United States to be accredited by International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International.
They also received high marks from charity watchdog organizations like Better Business Bureau, GuideStar, and Charity Navigator.
What Does Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind Do?
For 75 years, Guide Dog Foundation has trained and placed dogs to increase humans’ independence and mobility.
Their main goal is to help individuals with vision impairment by providing them with a guide dog.
The applicant must be legally blind and be able to independently travel safely within their environment with their current mobility device.
Once the guide dog instructors understand a client’s needs, they match and work with a dog to meet those needs.
When the dog has been professionally trained, the individual attends a comprehensive training program for individualized training relevant to their home environment and lifestyle.
Dogs receive humane training using positive reinforcement techniques. They use clicker training and food rewards to make the process more enjoyable.
How Can You Help Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind?
You can help Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind in several ways. Spread the word about the organization’s initiatives, tell someone who might need a guide dog, or attend one of their events.
You can also consider gifting money, which will help fund the training and placement of these important pups.
Guide Dog Foundation estimates that a guide dog needs at least $50,000 for breeding, raising, and training. That’s why every dollar of your donation counts.
Donate online so you can help one more dog and individual in need.
Guide Dog Foundation also offers Text to Give and other options for donating.
Some donors support the non-government organization through a gift of stock. Learn more about stock transfers here.
Instead of giving money, you can also donate dog products like bath towels, baby wipes, and toys.
Other ways you can help the Guide Dog Foundation include:
- be a guide dog foundation visionary
- fundraise for the foundation
- attend a foundation event
- like, share, and engage with them on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or Twitter.
This organization has proved that although dogs are not our whole life, they still make our lives whole.
Find other animal related charities you can help in our Charity Spotlight series.