Updated: Jan 11
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I hold a heart-warming interview a host family who raised a Labrador who was a breeder for Southeastern Guide Dogs 4210 77th St E Palmetto, FL 34221 941.729.5665.
● Breeder Dogs – selected for their fine qualities and traits to ensure continuity of our lines; matched and placed in pre-screened volunteer host homes.
About Southeastern Guide Dogs Southeastern Guide Dogs transforms lives by creating and nurturing extraordinary partnerships between people and dogs. Our organization operates the most advanced training facilities of any service dog organization in the world. Our experts breed, raise, and train elite working dogs—including guide dogs, service dogs, and skilled companion dogs—and provide life-changing services 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. Southeastern Guide Dogs has successfully created thousands of guide dog and service dog teams throughout the United States since our inception in 1982 and currently oversees the well-being of over 1,200 puppies and dogs. All of our services—which include state-of-the-art research on canine health and development, selective breeding, expert dog training, comprehensive on-campus student instruction, and the most robust alumni support program in North America—are provided at no cost to our clients. Donations sustain our mission and give freedom and hope to people who need it most. Southeastern Guide Dogs has the distinction of being dually accredited by the two premier global accreditation bodies: the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International. Learn more at www.GuideDogs.org. Mission To transform lives by creating and nurturing extraordinary partnerships between people and dogs. Vision To be the best service dog school in the world. Core Values
● Respect: We treat everyone – people and dogs – with respect and kindness.
● Integrity: We uphold the highest standards of integrity in all of our actions.
● Stewardship: We manage our precious resources with extraordinary care.
● Excellence: We pursue excellence through constant innovation. Our Dogs We breed, raise, and train Labrador retrievers. Our education, socialization, fitness, and training strategies lead our dogs through career paths from our Puppy Academy (preschool and kindergarten) to puppy raiser homes to Canine University for advanced skills training and ultimately to commencement. As our dogs progress in their training, their unique aptitudes and abilities become clear. Based on their
Southeastern Guide Dogs Executive Fact Sheet | Updated September 15, 2022
personality, health, temperament, trainability, and suitability for specific careers, most of our dogs enroll in one of the following programs. All are provided at no cost. Dogs and programs for people with vision loss:
● Guide Dogs – help people with vision loss navigate independently; trained in over 40 skills.
● Kids Companion Dogs – skilled companion dogs enhance independence for children with vision loss, paving the way for a future guide dog.
● Guide Dog Camp – provides 14- to 17-year-old teens with vision loss and their parents a no-cost, overnight, two-day camp to learn all about working with a guide dog. Dogs for veterans:
● Guide Dogs – help veterans with vision loss navigate independently; trained in over 40 skills.
● Service Dogs – help veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other disabilities; trained in 15 – 20 skills.
● Facility Therapy Dogs – provide comfort in military medical facilities and high-stress military environments nationwide.
● Emotional Support Dogs – benefit veterans and help restore a more active lifestyle.
● Gold Star Family Dogs – comfort military family members who have lost a loved one in active service to the nation. Dogs for children and teens:
● Guide Dogs – help teens with vision loss—ages 15 and up—navigate independently.
● Kids Companion Dogs – skilled companion dogs enhance independence for children with vision loss—ages 5 to 17—paving the way for a future guide dog.
● Gold Star Family Dogs – comfort military family members who have lost a loved one in active service to the nation. Dogs for genetics & reproduction:
● Breeder Dogs – selected for their fine qualities and traits to ensure continuity of our lines; matched and placed in pre-screened volunteer host homes. Alumni Support Program Because of our heartfelt commitment to our alumni, we’ve forged partnerships that have enabled us to create the most comprehensive Alumni Support Program in North America’s working dog industry. In addition to lifetime follow-up of our guide and service dog alumni, including annual home visits and ongoing phone support, we also offer our alumni the following benefits for the lifetime of the working dog partnership, at no cost:
● High-quality dog food, sponsored by Fromm Family Pet Food.
● Trifexis (a monthly preventative providing protection from fleas, heartworms, and intestinal parasites), sponsored by Elanco.
● Annual veterinary wellness visit and vaccinations, sponsored by select Veterinarian Partners and private donors. Numbers and People
● 3,300+ The number of guide dog and service dog teams created since our inception in 1982.
● 1,200+ Number of puppies and dogs under our auspices.
● About 615 The number of active guide dog, service dog, facility therapy dog, and Gold Star Family Dog teams we follow up with and support each year.
Southeastern Guide Dogs Executive Fact Sheet | Updated September 15, 2022
● Over 100 The number of dogs placed into guide dog, service dog, and other careers each year.
● 2 The number of years of training our guide and service dogs receive.
● $0 The amount we charge. We provide all of our dogs and services at no cost to recipients and support our alumni for the lifetime of the teams.
● $Tens of thousands The cost to breed, raise, train, and match our guide and service dogs with the people who need them, and then follow up with robust alumni support services.
● 20 The maximum number of days people with vision loss live on campus, learning to navigate with their guide dogs. Service dog classes for veterans are a maximum of 11 days. Some classes are shorter in length and are combined with home training, depending on unique circumstances and the experience levels of handlers.
● About 750 The number of core volunteers who donate time at least one day per week, including puppy raisers, breeder hosts, ambassadors, campus volunteers, our Board of Directors, and event volunteers, saving our organization millions of dollars annually.
● About 170 The number of staff members employed. 2023 Operating Budget With a current annual operating budget of $16 million, volunteer hours valued at $13 million, and in-kind contributions of over $14 million, we are a $43 million-dollar operation. Accreditations & Endorsements Accreditations and endorsements from these premier organizations speak volumes.
● International Guide Dog Federation – Accredited – Adhering to and exceeding world benchmarks of the highest quality standards.
● Assistance Dogs International – Accredited – Adhering to and exceeding standards of excellence in all areas of assistance dog acquisition, training, and partnership.
● GreatNonprofits – Top-Rated – Recognized by the only people’s choice award where volunteers, donors, and people served by nonprofits share stories of inspiration to earn this coveted award.
● Charity Navigator – Four Stars – Achieving the highest possible rating based on financial health, accountability, and transparency. (Southeastern Guide Dogs has achieved Charity Navigator’s four-star rating for 12 consecutive years.)
● Candid (GuideStar) – Platinum Seal of Transparency – Achieving a high level of transparency based on data and disclosure.
● America’s Best Charities – Best in America Seal of Excellence – Awarded to charitable organizations that meet the highest standards of public accountability, program efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.
4210 77th St E Palmetto, FL 34221 941.729.5665