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4210 77th Street East
Florida 34221

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PAWS FOR INDEPENDENCE partners individuals with visual impairments with professionally trained guide dogs. Our certified trainers provide students with 26 days of individualized instruction at our Palmetto, Florida campus - and lifetime support and follow up. Currently we serve more than 800 active graduates. We provide the guide dogs, equipment, single-room lodging, all meals, outings, instruction and post-graduation support completely free of charge, thanks to the generosity of our important contributors. The average working life of a guide dog is eight years, and the majority of our graduates obtain multiple guide dogs from Southeastern Guide Dogs. The process of developing and serving a successful guide dog team takes an average of ten years (two years of training and eight years of post-graduation services) and approximately $60,000. Paws For Independence, like all programs at Southeastern Guide Dogs, receives no governmental funding. We rely solely on the generosity of people like you.

Founded in 1982, Southeastern Guide Dogs creates and nurtures a partnership between a visually impaired individual and a guide dog, facilitating life''s journey with mobility, independence and dignity. All services - which include the breeding and training of dogs; on-campus instruction for the students; and lifetime follow-up for graduates - are provided free of charge. Our school is accredited by the International Guide Dog Federation, based in Reading, England, and is the only such guide dog school in the southeastern United States.

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My family and I have volunteered for Southeastern Guide Dogs for the past 14 years -as puppy raisers, puppy campers, breeder host and as a local Area Coordinator. Being able to raise and train a future guide dog that will give someone who don't know yet freedom and dignity is priceless... more »
I can't say enough good things about the volunteers I came in contact with while I was in class! S. drove me to church ( twice!) and grilled a BBQ one evening. The volunteers I met at the Sarasota gift shop were so nice! They were excited about meeting us snd our guides. We came in from the ... more »
Southeastern Guide Dogs is so totally commited to its true purpose of bringing freedom to individuals with impaired sight. The entire facility is devoted to the care and training of guide dogs. Every staff member has but one purpose, to further the ability of the school to make an individual's ... more »
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