I raised 8 puppies for Fidelco and will no longer support this organization. It is very difficult to get accurate information about their placement rate of their dogs. The agency is shrouded in secrecy. The atmosphere has changed and what was once a warm and caring environment is now a cold and unwelcoming place. There are other guide dog foundations that do a far better job of training their puppies and supporting and appreciating their volunteers. As a volunteer it was very difficult to get any accurate information about the dogs I trained, other similar agencies go out of their way to include puppies raisers. Fidelco goes out of their to distance themselves from their puppy raisers. It is with great sadness that I am no longer able to endorse Fidelco.
Review from Guidestar
Fidelco is a very unique nonprofit in several ways. Although it is New England's only guide dog school, it provides only the highest quality German Shepherd Dogs as guide dogs to clients all over the country.
This hearty, intelligent, working breed is well suited to the task and produces dogs who are able to assist visually impaired people regain independence and live fully in their community.
I'm proud to be able to contribute my time, talents and dollars to this great organization!
While living in Connecticut I had the privilege of raising 7 Fidelco guide dog puppies over an 8 year period as a "foster mom". During that time I saw the wonderful progress of a tiny furry pup into a beautiful, well trained partner to a visually impaired human being and witnessed the easy freedom each person had after pairing up with a guide dog carefully chosen by a truly caring staff. I believe Fidelco's policy of training a person and their new guide dog in the individual's home area is superior to campus training. Robbie and Charlie Kaman - founders of Fidelco - were two wonderful and caring people, and the members of their staff just as dedicated.
Fidelco is my charity of choice because I know that when I donate, my dollars are immediately being put to use to change lives. I've donated to other organizations in the past where most of my money was used for long-term research. While that's worthy and good for the world, as a donor I want to know how I can do the most good, right away, RIGHT NOW -- not ten or fifty years into the future. Blindness won't be cured anytime soon, but there's something we can do RIGHT NOW for people who are blind, and that's helping them receive these amazing guide dogs who help them lead more independent lives and feel like part of society again. I can immediately see the difference my donation is making.
I also love Fidelco because they are the only guide dog organization that specializes in the German Shepherd Dog specifically. Other schools dabble in the breed but mostly use sporting breeds. Fidelco has been the GSD expert since 1960 and the Fidelco GSD is, simply put, the most superior dog for the very important, life-changing and often life-saving job of being a guide dog for a person who is blind.