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Guiding Eyes for the Blind Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Blind & Visually Impaired Centers, Disabilities, Human Services

Mission: Guiding Eyes for the Blind is dedicated to enriching the lives of blind and visually impaired men and women by providing them with the freedom to travel safely, thereby assuring greater independence, dignity and new horizons of opportunity.

Programs: Student instruction and dog training - comprised of the following functional programs: residential training, special needs and home training. These programs provide individuals who are blind and visually impaired with fully trained guide dogs and extensive personalized instruction. All services including travel costs to and from the training center including room and board are provided free of charge to all students. Approximately 120 individuals who are blind graduate with a guiding eyes dog through on-site training in the residential program each year. In addition, on average, each year 20 individuals are provided in-home training with personalized instruction, and 12 special needs dogs are trained for individuals who are deaf-blind or have other disabilities in addition to blindness. The heeling autism program trains dogs not suited for guide work to provide additional safety and companionship for children with autism, including an on-site residential program for caregivers who learn to work with the specially-trained dog to take home to the child with autism.

canine development center - responsible for providing a strong foundation for future guide and service dogs. The programs that comprise the canine development center are breeding, whelping, brood/stud care, early/home socialization and puppy raising. All staff and volunteers are trained through guiding eyes' step(r) program, which emphasizes the importance of the human-animal bond. The canine development center researches and utilizes estimated breeding values and data-driven temperament measurement systems to increase the percentage of puppies that are successful as guides.

veterinary hospital - provides veterinary care for newborn puppies, broods and studs, dogs being raised by volunteer families, dogs in training, active guide dogs and even retired guide dogs at the training center and canine development center. All of these dogs account for over 4,000 visits per year. The veterinary department is also responsible for the dogs while in the kennels. For this reason the kennel enrichment program was developed in order to provide generous doses of stimulation, ample outlets for their energy, and professional nurturing and training. (excluding donated services of $10,000. )

Community Stories

11 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

Guiding Ryes is not just an organization, its a family. A family who nurtures the confidence and independence to its blind, Visually Impaired and deaf/blind graduates. A family who continues to care throughout our entire journey with our guides and even through the transition from retired Guide to its successor. GEB staff and volunteers changed my life 13 years ago and continue to make a difference in my life each and every day.

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer at Guiding Eyes for about 5 years now. Back in 2013, I didn't know much about Guiding Eyes for the Blind, but after retiring from my job at a school district, I wanted to do volunteer work and remembered this organization that had been in my local area for as long as I remembered, so I gave them a try. What I found was a wonderful environment with very professional and compassionate people who seemed genuinely dedicated to the goal of their organization, which is matching guide dogs with people who need them. And I was amazed to learn that this is at no cost at all to the people they help! But I think most of all, I witnessed firsthand their training staff working with their dogs and their visually impaired students, and I am in awe of the kindness, respect and talent they employ in dealing with both dog and student. This certainly seems like a worthwhile organization to me.

Review from Guidestar

11

Donor

Rating: 1

Guiding Eyes used to be a wonderful, caring organization, built on the shoulders of volunteers, a caring staff and wonderful dogs! All that is still true, except for a new CEO, 2 yrs ago, who seems to view it as a money maker, a vehicle for his own ego driving agenda of Running Guides, a program that will certainly shorten a guide dog's career, and is not in the best interest of these dogs. Many students are currently being given long wait times to get into class, and MANY more are now turning to different schools, due to the iron fisted administration. They cut the Heeling Autism program, which had a 100% success rate and was a great career choice for dogs who were too *soft* to become guides. The CEO has fired staff who do not agree with him, and MANY staff have left to go to other service dog organizations because they could not stay in that work environment.

I used to donate quite a bit each year. Until the administration changes, I will find more reputable organizations to donate to. And hope and pray that the 5 star GEB that I used to volunteer with can find itself again.

5 Menzel12

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was the lucky recipient of a Guiding Eyes dog. Guiding Eyes is a wonderful organization! They really care for their graduates!

Previous Stories
4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an Awesome organization! That helps people like me who have physical disabilities with the best guide dogs in the world! I would recommend this Non Profit to anyone who is visually impaired or blind in need of a guide dog. They will never forget there experience!

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11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I are puppy raisers for Guiding Eyes for the Blind (GEB). We are currently raising our third puppy who will return to Guiding Eyes for her formal training after we have raised her for about a year and a half. How, you are now asking, can we possibly say goodbye to an adorable puppy with whom we have jumped in snow drifts, gone swimming, cuddled, hiked, and simply loved to pieces for so long?? The answer is because Guiding Eyes dogs are bred and raised and trained for the purpose of being that pair of knowing eyes that opens the world to a vision-impaired person. I think about being blind all the time. How does a blind person shop? Pick clothes to wear in the morning? Find the set of keys that is always misplaced? While a guide dog might not be able to help with those things, it CAN safely guide a blind person from place to place and is a priceless, loving companion. Guiding Eyes for the Blind has graduated more than 7,000 guide dog teams since it was founded in 1954. Most remarkably, the blind applicant who is teamed with a GEB dog pays nothing for the dog (mostly labrador retrievers) or the professional training and follow-up support services. Rather Guiding Eyes for the Blind, a not for profit organization, depends completely on contributions to fulfill its mission. I am proud to be a puppy raiser for Guiding Eyes. Although I know we will cry when the day comes to say goodbye to our puppy, we will be SO proud when we see her at graduation with her new partner, a blind man or woman. And of course we will eagerly take another puppy and start all over again. Guiding Eyes for the Blind is beyond a doubt one of the best non-profit organizations EVER.

13 kragndc

Volunteer

Rating: 2

Excellent organization., wonderful cause, devoted volunteers/professionals. I have been a puppy socilaizer/home trainer for quite some time and my whole family is very dedicated and adores the puppies and takes the work very seriously. However, a couple of women in Patterson have become quite the female dogs themselves. Condescending statements, cold attitude and arrogance have no place, particularly when dealing with people who are sacrificing a great deal on their behalf and that of others. There is little to no recognition of early socialization/training volunteers at graduations or elsewhere. We never get a word of thanks, it is bizarre and disheartening. My family is mystified at how they can be this way. Most are wonderful, but a couple rotten apples. I would have rated with 5 stars, were it not for this unconscionable display of arrogance and condescension which has changed everything for us.

Review from CharityNavigator

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I just finished raising my first puppy through Guiding Eyes for the Blind. She is such an amazing dog and I am so grateful to have had her in my life. Guiding Eyes is an amazing organization that cares so much for its dogs and its volunteers. They are changing lives everyday and being a part of this organization has certainly changed mine.

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The integrity behind the scenes of Guiding Eyes for the Blind is incredible. From top to bottom, Guiding Eyes for the Blind is all about helping to get a well-matched, artfully raised and trained guide dog to a person who needs one, without the recipient having to go through any more expense or trouble than they already have. Every staff member, every volunteer, and every puppy raiser are committed to, and genuine in, the efforts. I want to be a puppy raiser for Guiding Eyes for the Blind!

8 Beth F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer at the Canine Development Center. I get to play with puppies. The great thing about it is I'm doing something that I really enjoy, but its also an important first step in these dogs lives.
I also foster dogs when they are waiting to be matched with their person. I don't do much... reinforce house manners, expose them to little things they may have never seen before, teach them to snuggle... I don't think I have ever experienced something so redeeming or incredible in my life as watching a dog that I have worked with graduate and change a person's life. In some little way, I make a difference in people's lives and its an amazing feeling.