Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

Claim This Nonprofit

More Info

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit

Donate

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Blind & Visually Impaired Centers, Disabilities, Eye Diseases, Blindness & Vision Impairments, Health, Human Services

Mission: 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.

Programs: 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.

Community Stories

22 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

100 out of 10! Nov 2015 I graduated with Lou, my third guide dog, from SEGD. The program has grown so much since I first attended back in 2001. I thought it was great back then, but now it's like a 5 star vacation, with the world's best guide dog at your side! Private rooms, excellent food (not the place to come and lose weight), superior trainers, still led by Rick who was there when I went for my first guide dog. The grounds are well organized for all our training needs. The graduation program we had was over the top, Lou and I felt like celebrities!
I recently tested out Lou's training, by going on a trip that included 4 airplane fights, 2 hotels, 10 bus rides, a riverboat, with multiple distractions and new environments everyday. A real testament to SEGD was Lou did great! She handled the pressure and stress beautifully, I never bumped into a thing, or got hurt, I was able to negotiate the ship safely and all by myself, once she learned the route! SEGD has given me freedom of mobility with three dedicated guide dogs (DeeDee, Destinee, and now Lou)!

1 Vicki69

Client Served

Rating: 5

I got my Hairy dog from South Eastern on February 17th 2015! It was one of the most special days of my life!

They have a knowledgeable warm staff there! And my dog, Hairy is just the best Guide Dog, and more than I hoped for!

The food there was excellent as well! They spoiled us with such good food! And the cooking staff was very nice, too.

Hairy is my 3rd guide dog, my other 2 coming from a school in Michigan. I loved those dogs too of course, but my Hairy is something special. I guess they all have a place in your heart, a different place as they all have different personalities, but he's so well trained, loving, and just a smart boy! I'm blessed to have him, and it is thanks to South Eastern guide dogs that I do! I would totally recommend this school to any blind person seeking a guide dog!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Southeastern Guide Dogs is the place to go if you are blind or visually impaired. Put the cane in the closet, make an appointment and get ready for a 5 star experience. You will gain knowledge from the excellent trainers and school mates. All with different eye problems and some who are completely blind.
You will gain a newfound friend and buddy with your dog. They are amazing and so very smart. The training staff, the puppy raisers, the vet center all have a hand in making your best buddy your second set of eyes.
Do not stay at home and shut in. Grab your harness and tell your buddy where you want to go . After a few trips he will take you right there.
What a great experience. Email or pick up the phone and call Southeastern Guide Dogs.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Southeastern Guide Dogs has given me back my life. I was in such a bad way before becoming a student there, I truly had no idea what would become of me. After being matched with my guide dog Caras, I now am able to do so much more! I am happy and living a full life. I am no longer alone and I am getting out every day! Was it hard?, yes. Was it worth it? Absolutely! I owe Southeastern Guide Dogs so much, Thank You Southeastern Guide Dogs, you are truly a gift for so many!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My life has forever been changed for the better! Southeastern Guide Dogs is an amazing place that goes out of their way to not just match you with your perfect partner, but to also make sure you are comfortable during your stay and made to feel like family! I have been so blessed by them and I'm truly thankful for all that they do!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Southeastern Guide Dogs has transformed my life for the better. They have given me back my independence. The trainers at the campus are some of the most dedicated and hardworking group of people. You leave the campus with a few more family members. The classes are designed to help those with visual impairments to better gain their independence. The students are put through training that will help them better navigate through different settings from malls to restaurants, to trails in the country or through the city. Each student is given their own rooms that are very clean and neat and come with a house keeper. The food is great and the atmosphere is just like being at home. Highly recommended for those with visual challenges and veterans suffering from PTSD.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Read the blog that tells everything how happy I have been with my successor guide dog and the organization is outstanding for selecting one of the best match!

http://www.lifethrukartie.blogspot.com

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have never expierenced an agency that is run as well as Southeastern Guide Dogs. Raising top notch guide dogs and matching them with a visually impaired person is their goal and they do it well. I was in class 232 in January of 2015 and have never been treated so well. I was very nerve routs about whether or not I would be able to learn to handle a guide dog. I t is way different from taking care of a pet. After 26 days I left with so much confidence because of the excellent training I received. Today my guide dog and I can do just about anything we want to. What freedom. Trust me this is one of the best organizations you will ever find.

4 Lee_18

Client Served

Rating: 5

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 blistering heat and they had cool drinks and snacks. One volunteer gave the ladies a manicure before our graduation. The puppy raisers were... My heros. JP ( my guide) has such great manners and is well adjusted. Anyone looking into volunteering should know that there are a variety of jobs and that you will become part of a big happy family!
LP and JP

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Southeastern Guide Dog went over and beyond our expectations. My husband lost his eye sight over a year and a half ago, a very difficult situation for not only him but for the entire family. As my husband attended classes at the Lighthouse for the Blind I began to search for Guide Dogs. There was one facility as close as Mississippi and as far as California. While searching the internet for many reasons Southeastern Guide Dog caught my attention more than others. The facility looked very clean, organized, the puppy cam was amazing, the details of the training were well explained and I was quite impressed about the detailed screening of the person that was to receive the guide dog. The next thing I knew I was filling out the application on line. What seemed like forever, after the background check took place, a kind professional person called to schedule an at home interview. About a month later a person came from Florida and interviewed my husband, took him for a walk with a harness and leash to measure his speed, strength and height. She looked at the home, answered our questions, played with our 2 boxers and told us they would be back in touch with us. A short time after we decided to go to Florida to personally visit the grounds. We were received by the staff and they gave us the tour. They actually put a harness on one of the guide dogs and let my husband walk with him. They made my husband feel like there was nothing more important in the world than him. It was the best thing that happened to him since he lost his sight. We prayed every day that he would be accepted by Southeastern Guide Dog. One day we received the magic phone call and he was asked if he could attend the class that started in October...Are you kidding, the scream of joy and tears were unavoidable. The day we arrived he was greeted by 3 professional trainers that entered his luggage and showed him to his dorm and helped him unpack and get comfortable . Amazing, his dorm had a large private bath, tv, closet, night stands, a large bed and a desk. He said he felt like he was in a 5 star hotel. Southeastern provided absolutely everything even the guide dog he needed at no cost what so ever to us. We could not have had Lucy if there was a cost involved. A Chef prepared the meals for the students, my husband had 3 of the most professional, kind, loving,understanding trainers and staff with him at all times. His 26 days there were the hardest but the most important days of his life. He not only learned to become more self dependent they taught him to trust his Guide Dog Lucy 100%. They are one when she has her harness on. Southeastern Guide Dog will always be in our hearts. It is so hard to explain what it means to regain your independence, to have Lucy at my husbands side 24hours a day. I trust Lucy with my husbands life thanks to Southeastern Guide Dog. They have opened a whole new meaning in our lives. Southeastern Guide Dog is a true non profit organization that knows how to treat and understands the persons coming for their guide dog in a very professional, loving, understanding way.