Not all heroes wear capes. Some even have four legs and are covered in fur.
This is the story of Southeastern Guide Dogs. An organization that raises and trains dogs to assist the visually impaired, retired veterans with disabilities, and children with specific challenges.
Find out how Southeastern Guide Dogs started, what they do, and how you can help.
Who are Southeastern Guide Dogs?
Southeastern Guide Dogs is an animal charity that has been transforming the lives of people and dogs since 1982.
When you support this organization you can make twice the difference by helping dogs and people at the same time.
Their beautiful campus is located in Palmetto, Florida. It is run by a qualified board of directors dedicated to prestige, proper governance, and love for people and dogs.
Southeastern Guide Dogs understand that many lose hope when they lose their vision or mobility.
Their mission is to help you overcome that despair with a loyal, intelligent, and loving furry friend.
This non-profit organization provides its dogs and services free of charge. They rely on donors and sponsorships for training and matching processes.
Southeastern Guide Dog breeds, raises, and trains qualified service dogs. They ensure that every furry companion is skilled and able to provide life-changing services to people at no cost.
How Southeastern Guide Dogs Started
Southeastern Guide Dogs was co-founded in 1982 by Robert Miller and Dr. Harris Silverman with a single vision – to help those who cannot see.
Their goal was to help transform lives by providing those in need with extraordinary dogs. They wanted to help the blind, and veterans who need a guide dog for their everyday lives.
From humble beginnings in a farmhouse with three dogs and one trainer, they now operate the most advanced training facilities of any service dog organization in the world.
Experts train dogs of the highest pedigree for people with vision loss, veterans with disabilities and children with significant challenges such as vision loss or the loss of a parent in the military
For the past 40 years, the organization has worked with thousands of service dogs and guide dogs throughout the country.
Southeastern Guide Dogs’ efforts have allowed them to offer guide dogs at no cost to people who need them. This is all possible because of the partnerships they make.
For the organization, partnerships not only keep their services going but also help build relationships in the community.
Their corporate partners provide monetary and in-kind support to keep guide dogs accessible to the blind, mentally challenged, and disabled people all over the United States.
Some of their philanthropic partners include Fromm Family Pet Food, Elanco, Subaru, and Pet Supermarket. Southeastern Guide Dogs also works with The Zenith, Boar’s Head, Dog Perfect, and many more brands.
With their help, the organization has successfully raised more than 1200 dogs and puppies, ready to help individuals in need.
Southeastern Guide Dogs has served individuals in every state, including Alaska and Hawaii. It hopes to expand soon to raise and train more dogs for people in need.
What Do Southeastern Guide Dogs Do?
The mission of Southeastern Guide Dogs is to transform lives by creating and nurturing extraordinary partnerships between people and dogs.
They do this by breeding, raising, and training service dogs and companion dogs.
Southeastern Guide Dogs’ training programs include support for the visually impaired, for veterans, and for children who need assistance.
The charity believes that dogs give confidence to people with vision loss. Guide dogs help lead the way and open doors to confidence, independence, and opportunity.
The guide dog training allows these furry friends to learn over 40 skills to keep their person safe and secure, even in public.
It begins with the puppies born in their puppy academy. Bred using a data driven genetics and reproduction program, these puppies start training when they are only a few days old.
It takes two years to raise and train each dog before they are matched with the right recipient.
Kids can also get companion dogs, especially those experiencing mental disabilities, vision loss, and the loss of a parent.
It ensures that kids and teenagers experience freedom, confidence, and happiness throughout their lives.
Also, Southeastern Guide Dogs provides assistance dogs to veterans. Many of these veterans lose vision on the battlefield. Some experience severe trauma and need the affection and support of a service dog.
Service dogs shift the focus from triggers and trauma to a state of calm. They provide peace of mind to veterans with PTSD and other disabilities.
How Can You Help Southeastern Guide Dogs?
The first way you can help Southeastern Guide Dogs by making a simple donation. A few dollars will go a long way into feeding, raising, and training these dogs to help more people.
Choose between a one-time or monthly donation. Select the amount, and click donate. Easy peasy.
Become a Member
You can also help Southeastern Guide Dogs by being part of the Cornerstone Society. This membership entitles you to exclusive events while supporting the organization’s sustainability.
Wills and Bequests
You can leave a legacy of generosity behind by including Southeastern Guide Dogs in your will, and donations of any amount will help.
Raise a Puppy
If you have more time on your hands, and want to do something meaningful, helping Southeastern Guide Dogs raise puppies is a great way to help. Share your time and your love, and they will show you how to do the rest.
You can also spend some time volunteering if you’re near the Southeastern Guide Dogs campus.
Join a Fundraiser
Raise funds for a cause and help change lives. Every dollar you contribute enables them to offer their dogs and services to those in need at no cost.
Partner with Southeastern Guide Dogs
You can also become a philanthropic partner. For additional details on how to become a philanthropic partner with Southeastern Guide Dogs check out this page.
Southeastern Guide Dogs also offer different types of scholarships.
By contributing to their educational scholarships, you provide their dogs and the people who need them with new opportunities. You support their future while giving back to the community.
Get a Gift
Shop at the Southeastern Guide Dog’s online store. You can get some cool merchandise and help raise funds at the same time.
If their story has inspired you, help Southeastern Guide Dogs make a difference in people’s lives.
You can also check out other animal organizations to support similar initiatives.