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Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

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

Mission: 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 wellbeing 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. We rely 100% on private donations. 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.

Target demographics: People with visual impairments, veterans with disabilities, and children with significant challenges such as vision loss or loss of a parent in the military.

Direct beneficiaries per year: In fiscal year 2020, we supported 585 active teams who gave us a 99.6% student satisfaction rating. We placed 54 guide dogs with people with vision loss and 31 dogs into careers benefitting veterans. We placed 11 skilled companion dogs with children with vision loss, and placed 17 dogs into public service for further scent detection training.

Geographic areas served: The continental U.S. and Alaska

Programs: Southeastern Guide Dogs supports three distinct programs featuring both guide dogs and service dogs. Our oldest program is our Guide Dog Program serving our clients with vision loss. We place over 70 of our extraordinary dogs annually with clients who have visual impairment. We raise dogs and train them in over 40 cues to help these clients navigate independently. In 2009, we recognized the need in our community to train some of our exceptional dogs as service dogs to partner with military veterans to assist them in managing post-traumatic stress disorder and other disabilities. Through our Veterans Program, we place over 40 dogs with veterans annually. We also place emotional support dogs, facility therapy dogs, and Gold Star Gamily dogs to support military veterans and their families. In 2019, we launched a new initiative to expand our services to children and teens. Our Children and Teens Program features a two-day, residential Guide Dogs Camp for teens aged 14-17 and their parents to learn about the benefits of guide dog ownership. We also lowered the age to receive a guide dog from 18 to 15, so that teens can begin working with a guide dog while still in high school. This program also includes Kids Companion Dogs for children with vision loss and Kids Therapy Dogs to assist children facing difficult situations. All of our programs are provided to our clients completely free of charge.

Community Stories

313 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Murphy was our first SEGD puppy. Although, I was not sure I was qualified to be a puppy raiser, I received all the help, encouragement, and support from everyone at SEGD. Murphy graduated training and is now a working Guide Dog. Raising Murphy was a wonderful experience for my family and I. We cannot wait to do it again. We are so grateful to be a part of the SEGD family.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Southeastern Guide Dogs is changing so many lives for the better! I received my first guide dog at the end of March and life just keeps getting better! When I started losing my sight, I lost my career, the ability to drive, my freedom, confidence and independence. Now I drive a beautiful yellow lab through a harness and I feel like myself again! I no longer have to depend on my family to make sure I’m safe on the road, in parking lots, in stores, etc. I can do things on my own again through the help of Lolita! All of that is possible through selfless donors, volunteers, trainers and special puppy raisers who make it possible at no cost to the client. It’s a gift I’ll never be able to repay and there will never be enough words to express my gratitude to Southeastern Guide Dogs!

Kelly R.8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was led to exactly the guide dog school meant for me to volunteer. It was something I’d wanted to do since I was young, and connected to their team in Charlotte. What wonderful friends I’ve made - and puppies I’ve met! The first I raised is now working for a gentleman with PTSD - fit in exactly the career she belongs. I’m raising my second puppy now, and can’t wait to see where he’s led. It’s a joy of a service, raising these dogs to see great careers ahead.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've raised 9 puppies for Southeastern. They are a great organization to work with and provide well trained dogs for people in need.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

Southeastern Guide Dogs is an excellent non profit that gets no government funding, raises money through fundraising and provides the blind with dogs to guide them through the world and comforting, service dogs to guard and protect veterans from a world that they are afraid of. The facilities are excellent and provide a comfortable place for students to live and learn how to use their dogs. Raising puppies for them has been one of the most rewarding experiences ever. I've raised 5 dogs for them. They provide support for raisers and make the turning in process a little less painful through puppy hugging, a training simulation, and listening to a graduate that's life changed after getting a dog. I highly recommend them if you need a dog or want to raise one.

Dana A.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure of volunteering at Southeastern Guide Dogs for 7 years. I currently volunteer in the Puppy Nursery. As a former Labor and Delivery and Nursery RN, I am able to combine the joy of bringing new lives into the world with my absolute love of dogs, especially puppies. For me, it's the perfect fit. The staff and administration at SEGD appreciate their volunteers and it shows. They always ask for feedback from their volunteers to insure that their volunteer experience is a worthwhile one. The best part of my volunteer experience is knowing many of these little puppies will grow into service dogs that will change someone's life for the better. Puppy breath is also a huge plus. I would highly recommend SEGD to others who want to make a difference in rhis crazy world.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I work with puppies at Southeastern Guide Dogs. The love and attention I give to them is returned to me tenfold. Knowing these precious pups will go on to enhance the lives of those in need is so heartwarming. It is truly a labor of love.The staff at SEGD are so kind and appreciative. I feel blessed to be a part of this organization.

Donor

Rating: 5

This organization is absolutely phenomenal. The services they provide for their clients are professional, caring and life altering. Their staff and facilities are amazing. I’m thrilled to be able to support this nonprofit.

FloraLigi

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at SEGD for over 5 years and loved every minute! The staff is well educated and very dedicated and the volunteers are friendly and always willing to pitch in and help wherever they can. And the puppies and dogs, well what can I say...they are all fabulous! I look forward to every shift! I have done everything from cleaning, to bathing puppies, to data entry, to making lickety sticks (although I prefer the sweet potato over the peas and carrots, the dogs love them all! ) It is so heartwarming and so very rewarding to watch the dogs learn and grow from puppyhood to being matched with a visually impaired student or a veteran with PTSD. I couldn't have picked a better place to volunteer!

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at Southeastern Guide Dogs for over five wonderful years. One morning a week I work at Canine University with three wonderful ladies and we are proud to be known as the "super-duper cleaning quartet"! I also help with set-up, clean-up and serving at both the Puppy Raiser Brunch, where visually impaired students get to meet the people who raised their new canine companion and the Veterans' dinner, where veterans with PTSD meet the people that raised their service dog. It is very heartwarming and rewarding to witness the bond that has already formed between the students and their new partners and to see the love still shared between the dogs and their puppy raisers. I also work with my husband (Joe Ligi) weeding and keeping all the gardens in good order! All my hard work is rewarded when I go to the Puppy Academy and to bathe puppies! I love every minute of those mornings! I love seeing the puppies as they grow and then go to their puppy raiser for a year, but the best reward is when I see them come back a year later as grown dogs in Canine University. The love and devotion shown to the puppies and dogs by the employees and volunteers is something that has to be witnessed firsthand. There are always lots of smiles from happy employees and volunteers and joyous tail wagging from the puppies and dogs at Southeastern Guide Dogs. I think it is a testament to the reputation, operation and successes of SEGD's that with their continual growth and expansion, many of the new and planned buildings are fully funded by generous contributions BEFORE a footing is poured! It is truly a non-profit that deserves recognition for their continued contributions to so many facets of society.

islandgirl2018

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at SEGD for 6 years.
It is the most amazing place… between the dogs, trainers, students, other SEGD associates and my fellow volunteers it is a joy to be a part of this organization. I work a very early shift and when I see these dogs wag with excitement, my heart is full. Along with attending some Graduations that truly fortifies my commitment to the SEGD mission.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer there and have been for nearly 3 years....I love the organization, people and dogs... why you might ask? Well to see first hand the transformation of these dogs into superheroes is amazing. I get to see all the stages or phases that these dogs , staff and volunteers go thru to get these dogs ready for a person in need. It is truly amazing to be apart of this and watch and be apart of the end result... being able to match the person with the right superhero! This organization has changed my life for ever.... and I could go on and on. ❤️

Jane S.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The only reason I am only giving 5 stars is because there is no higher status! I have been a volunteer for 12 years in various capacities, and my very favorite thing to do is to tell anyone who will listen about SEGD: all they do, how they operate, how invested they are in each and every dog - for life... Obviously, I could go on and on, but suffice to say I am very, very proud to be even the smallest cog in the giant wheel that is Southeastern Guide Dogs.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

From whelping to the Rainbow Bridge, Southeastern Guide Dogs remains committed to each and every dog and making sure that each is in the lifetime job for which it is best suited. Hopefully, this is as a Guide or a Service Dog with a veteran, but if a dog's destiny is to be adopted and be a really great pet, then that's okay also. Those who do graduate as Guide or Service Dogs are given to their human partners at no cost so that there is a level playing field for those in need of a special dog. I am totally committed to this organization, their mission and their ethic, and have been proud to volunteer for them for many years.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with SEGD for the past year and a half as a puppy raiser and I don't think I can adequately put into words the JOY and pure HAPPINESS this experience has opened up in my life. Every single time I step foot onto the campus I get goosebumps thinking of all the connections that have been made here, you can feel the passion and energy in every facet of the organization. The pups are just incredible and to have the opportunity to be a small part of their journey is really special. And the people here have the biggest hearts all working together towards a shared mission ~ it is pretty awesome! The pictures below are of Gigi, the puppy I am currently raising. She is a very special pup and it is an honor to be her puppy raiser.

1 Lacey C.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have received 2 guide dogs from Southeastern Guide Dogs. They were both life changing blessings. I’m now waiting for dog 3 and am so excited to receive yet another blessing from SEGD! They are a wonderful organization that has forever changed many lives.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

Southeastern Guide Dogs provided me with my guide dog in January 2018. Since we left the school and return home it has been such a life-changing experience! Now that I have my guide dog I am able to walk more confidently navigate my surroundings more safely and just have a better quality of life. If anyone were to ask me what God does hall they should go to, I would recommend Southeastern all the way!

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Client Served

Rating: 5

I was truly blessed to receive my service dog from Southeastern Guide Dogs. The trainers are the best, my dog is a perfect match for me (well worth the wait). The entire staff is wonderful, chefs, housekeeping, veterinarian, office staff, puppy raisers, all donors and last but not least all of the trainers. My service dog has already started to change my life in ways I could have never imagined. Thank you again SEGD!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Southeastern Guide Dogs is a great organization providing service dogs for Veterans.  I am fortunate to have been approved and go through the experience of meeting a caring staff and ultimately meet my new four legged companion. The organization has an outstanding school and environment for the students and dogs.  Highly recommend this nonprofit organization and thank you to all who support their mission.  Have a blessed day.

Client Served

Rating: 5

AJ and I were brought together by Southeastern Guide Dogs. I couldn't be happier with my choice to apply and attend SEGD. From the very start I was welcomed with open arms.
The application process is easy and you are kept informed throughout the whole process.
The trainers and dogs are top quality. My trainers Jenn, Caitlin, Courtney, and Carl were amazing. They worked hard each day of classes to ensure that AJ and I would be successful together. No chore to big or to small for them.
The rooms on campus were large, comfortable, and super clean. My room was attended daily. I had a huge private bathroom, lots of drawer and closet space, and a refrigerator in my room.
The meals were delicious. Chef Rob is a 5 star chef!! Breakfast, lunch and dinner were certainly times to look forward to. I learned to eat new things and some new twists on old favorites. Thanks Chef Rob for a tremendous 5 star resort experience. You and Shanna are the bomb.
The campus is beautiful and filled with walking areas and benches which are perfect for bonding with your dog. The vet clinic and Dr. C along with his staff are on campus should your dog need any attention while in training or after you go home.
The gift shop has so many items to choose from. Far more than on the internet site. I hope they update that to include all the merchandise.
If you are looking for a guide dog please make this your first stop. Give admissions a call and find out what I already know...how amazing Southeaster Guide Dogs is. You won't be sorry.
If you are looking to donate to an organization that will make sure you donation changes lives then look no further. AJ has changed my life completely. I can now shop alone and live life again after having lost my sight. Your donation will be put to great use here.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We attended "Freshman Orientation" in January 2021. Even with the Covid pandemic, Southeastern made the drop off event so special, unique and personal. We were greeted with local puppy raisers and their puppies outside their facility with balloons and signs, cheering us onto campus for an emotional drop off. Once there, it was well organized with pictures, gifts and finally the good-bye. Kuddos to Southeastern for allowing puppy raisers the opportunity to hand the leash over in such an honoring way.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was so blessed to attend this year’s January training class. I truly knew very little about the program and the amount of time and staff to train a dog to become a guide dog for people like me who’s vision has deteriorated.
My dog, a 2year old yellow lab, is more than I could ever have hoped for. She is smart, protective and my hero. We have become best friends as she continues to guide me through my daily travels.
I cannot thank the donors, puppy raisers, staff and trainers enough.
I would recommend Southeastern Guide Dogs to anyone who is visually impaired.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was blessed to be able to spend some time at SEGD getting to know my forever friend. She has been amazing, and I’ve only had her home for a few days now. The staff at SEGD are an extremely professional group who take their jobs very seriously, and answer to a calling to serve that most would ignore. What they do at NO cost is amazing, and is something I’ll never be able to repay. I am extremely grateful for the help they have given me, other veterans, and those who are blind. I could never say thank you enough to ALL of the staff at Southeastern Guide Dogs!

If you are a veteran suffering from PTSD, I cannot recommend them enough! (You do not have to be Florida based, they will travel to you for interviews before and after receiving your dog.)

Client Served

Rating: 5

I just graduated with my fourth guide dog. The facilities at Southeastern Guide Dogs are top notch. The one on one training was awesome. The staff were available to answer all my questions, even the dumb ones, before and during class with a wonderful positive attitude.

1 Marcia G.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was first introduced to SEGD by a Puppy Raiser who attended my church. I was intrigued by his story and that of SEGD. I visited the campus and was immediately impressed with the people and mission of SEGD. I eased into a volunteer role as a Puppy Sitter, giving respite to Puppy Raisers and have sponsored 9 pups or students since my early involvement After 7 years, I made the leap to Puppy Raiser. I just turned in my pup for his formal training and while awaiting word on his progress, am taking steps to raise another pup.

I have been honored to have personal relationships with several SEGD Graduates and have learned first hand how their lives - and that of their families - have been changed for the positive.

I am so proud to be associated with this fine organization and the Caring people on staff and in volunteer roles.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am currently raising my 4th puppy for SEGD. As a puppy raiser I have been so happy with the experiences they provide. Puppy pick up is a breeze, and while emotionally hard, drop off is made as easy as it can be. You really feel the love of the mission when you are on SEGDs beautiful campus. The dogs are loved by staff just as much as we all love them at home. Our dogs have all been placed with perfect matches. We love SEGD.

Pip D.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve been a part of the program only a year and I can already say they do amazing work. So much passion and energy goes into bringing these dogs to people that need them

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have been volunteering as puppy raisers for SEGD for over 4 years and are now raising our 3rd guide dog. The best thing about SEGD is the fact that they do not charge the recipient anything for a fully well trained guide dog. They also cover all the vet bills and food for the life of the dog. I am proud to be a part of this well oiled machine !

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a two-time puppy raiser and avid supporter. My introduction to SEGD was at a graduation. After hearing all of the graduates talk about getting their dog and how much it changed their life, I had to find out more. I became involved and I was, and still am, amazed at what they do.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Southeastern is a great organization that is run by some of the most caring and amazing people! The staff and volunteers are so involved and have created a great community that shares a bond over our love for animals and of course helping these awesome puppies become super heroes!

Alona F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Southeastern Guide Dogs is an absolutely fantastic organization. I have been a volunteer puppy sitter for nearly two years, and have now been a puppy raiser for six months. Throughout my journey in raising a future service dog, the organization has been extremely helpful and supportive in providing educational materials, specific training feedback, and support when I need it. The dogs that come out of Southeastern Guide Dogs' programs are top level, professional working dogs that change and save lives every day. Pictured is Jello, the one-year-old female black goldador and future Southeastern superhero that I am raising.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began this year puppy raising and have been so blessed to get to know such wonderful people and dogs affiliated with an amazing guide dog school. The school has overcame many obstacles associated with Covid 19. SEGD has preservered and continued helping those in need of independence and hope by providing exceptional dogs. I am so proud and honored to be a part of a great organization.

TNT1236

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization is TOP NOTCH. Been volunteering with them for many years in many areas , on campus , breeder hosting , puppy raising , puppy camping etc . The care that is shown to all is above and beyond . The heartwarming graduations and continued connections is one that lasts a lifetime. SouthEastern Guide Dogs Cares !

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband Terry and I have been involved in many areas of SEGD -we are so happy we are. Friendships have been formed and are ever lasting. The pups that we have had pass thru our lives have been a blessing. We are helping to change the lives of deserving individuals. Makes my heart so happy to be able to do this. Most recently we raised a pup who is IFT right now and at the present we are finishing another pup who will go in for formal training at the end of October. We also have a retired breeder at home who we love to follow along on his legacy. SEGD changes lives one pup at a time.

Jeanette P.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a great organization. We have been puppy sitters for almost a year and have met some amazing puppies, puppy raisers and trainers. It is heart warming to see the difference these dogs make in people's lives.

Leslie J. R.

Donor

Rating: 5

As an employee of Southeastern Guide Dogs for many years, I can attest to the integrity and trustworthiness of the organization. The leadership in place has a passion to help people, to help dogs find their best unique place, and to pursue the mission with excellence. Because of this trust and because of the mission, I decided to support Southeastern Guide Dogs through the wonderful Sponsor a Puppy program, which became the perfect gift for a loved one. Who wouldn't love following a puppy's journey as they grow up to become a guide dog? My brother loves it!

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Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

True story - I work at Southeastern Guide Dogs and one of my roles is to interview each person with their new dog and then write a short bio about each one. These bios are provided to the puppy raiser and the sponsor of the dog, to let them know of the difference their dog makes.
I've heard so many heart-wrenching stories of vision loss and the accompanying loss of freedom--no more drivers license; no more ability to look into a child or grandchild's eyes; and a loss of hope and confidence. I've spoken to veterans with PTSD who can't seem to forget the memories of Afghanistan, Iraq, and even Vietnam.

And then they get their dogs--their guide dogs and service dogs--and everything changes. Their shoulders lift; they sleep through the night; and they travel and go and do and be and LIVE.

As a female, I make sure to wear waterproof mascara before interviewing them, because often when they begin to get teary and misty, I can't help but cry myself. Good tears. Tears of amazement and hope and renewed expectancy and confidence.

It is an absolute privilege to see the incredible transformations and the difference a dog makes. Here at Southeastern Guide Dogs, it's often said that we transform lives, one dog at a time.

Truth.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I’m so thankful for Southeastern Guide Dogs and the independence and confidence that they have brought back to my life! With Luna leading my way, I know that my future is bright!

Karen H.21

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am thrilled to have found Southeast Guide Dog to volunteer at. This organization truly is awesome. Everything is so well done here. From breeding and raising them to training these magnificent animals for visually impaired people and service men and women who need that someone special in their lives.
I am one proud volunteer!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I lost my vision about a 1.5 years ago and during my O&M training it was suggested that I would benefit from a Guide Dog. I had looked at multiple schools and from first phone call Southeastern Guide Dogs was a cut above the rest. From initial application through to completion of my training on campus, I really did not have one complaint. The dog I was paired with is beyond amazing. She is brilliant! My first full day home we went for a walk at Universal City Walk and it was amazing. I got to enjoy the afternoon without looking down or being stressed about who (or what) I was going to bump into. Today is my first day back at work with my Guide Dog and the morning has been beyond expectations. No more running my fingers along the wall or counting steps. Thankful for the ongoing support I have through Southeastern Guide Dogs as well. They are never more than a phone call away. The words thank you just isn't enough.

Curt N.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As someone who's been around the military for my professional career and supporting those who serve, I developed a keen awareness of their sacrifice and how important it is that we take care of those who've made the sacrifice for our nation particularly those that now need extra help in their daily lives. The value of a dog in the life of a person who needs that extra help, whether they be visually impaired, a veteran, or someone who just needs the emotional support, is life changing. I joined Southeastern Guide Dogs because of their mission to support this community and my love for dogs (yes, I'm a life long Labrador owner). It my time volunteering, I've seen the singular dedication to mission of the professional staff and volunteers to support this community. To see and hear the stories the graduating classes and what their new four legged best friend means to them is humbling. I always walk away thinking we have to grow this organization, there are more people who need this support!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at Southeastern Guide Dogs for over a year, and I really enjoy interacting with the staff and other visitors while driving the shuttle around the campus. Southeastern Guide Dogs is the best place to volunteer. If I lived closer, I would volunteer more than I currently do. The staff has such passion for their jobs and their mission for training and providing dogs to the visually impaired and to Military Veterans. I highly recommend that you apply to volunteer and/or financially support Southeastern Guide Dogs. You will not regret your decision. Chuck Bishop

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I cannot speak highly enough about this organization that helps vets like myself that have PTSD to obtain a service dog. My two trainers were the greatest. They took their time to help me through with all the necessary commands i had to learn to graduate. My service dog named “SAL” is a great comfort to me already and i only had him for 2 weeks. We both have bonded together right away. Its like we been together for years. I want to thank Southeastern Guide Dogs Inc. And all the sponsors, donors and everyone else that make all this possible for us vets. GOD BLESS to all of you.

1 Toni V.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My family has been involved with Southeastern Guide Dogs for two years now. We are currently raising our 2nd puppy for the school which has been so rewarding! Additionally, I have volunteered in the Canine University (a.k.a. Training Kennel) for over a year and I love spending time with the dogs and staff on Saturday mornings. My mom is also involved and after volunteering in the Puppy Kennel for several months she moved up into a Puppy Educator role. She loves working with pups from 7-12 weeks of age introducing them to new things! And who doesn't LOVE to play with puppies?!?!?

We are not only weekly volunteers and current puppy raisers, but also Cornerstone Society members as well. Please consider volunteering in some capacity for this organization! Our continued volunteer support allows them to place extraordinarily trained Guide and Service dogs to those in need at NO COST and NO government funding.

2 Terry G.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I cannot say enough great things about SEGD. I am a disabled veteran with PTSD and physical issues. The service dog trainers at SEGD picked a beautiful Goldador named Sasha as my new battle buddy, I could not be happier and she starting changing my life from the day I met her 20 days ago. The service dog trainers are amazing, extremely knowledgeable, caring, loving and become your newest best friends by the time the class is over. The facilities are way modern, clean and beyond ecxpectations. The Chefs are great, friendly and the food is amazing. The entire staff and volunteers are great. This is a fantastic organization that cares about veterans and want to help. I have been so blessed to have them in my life and providing me with the best new battle buddy in the world.

Thank you for everything,

Terry Greenfeder


Volunteer

Rating: 5

I recently started working at Southeastern Guide Dogs in the puppy kindergarten area and have been so impressed with this organization. What a wonderful group of staff members and volunteers; such a positive environment. Everyday is enjoyable, I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to volunteer in an awesome setting, raising dogs to become future heroes.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Southeastern Guide Dogs is truly a world class state of the art training facility for both Guide dogs and Service dogs. The campus is well maintained. My first impression upon arriving there put me in awe. The campus buildings are recently built and you feel as though you are on a college campus for humans. This place breeds their own service dogs and has a research lab on site that helps detect defects in canine dna so that healthy Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers can be born. Students get to stay in their state of art dorm rooms which is equipped with its on mini fridge, Amazon
Alexa, full bathroom, flat screen TV, closet and Central Air. Each room has its own patio with and an astroturf area for your service dog to use to go to the bathroom. School provides students with 3 free meals a day from its onsite full industrial kitchen that staffs cooks with great culinary talent. This organization is non profit, ADI accredited school. They rely solely on private donations and do not take any government funds. If your looking for a service animal school that is top notch, Southeastern Guide Dogs is definitely it!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at Southeastern Guide Dogs for three years now serving in various areas of the campus including being on the Volunteer Advisory Committee. While I was working, I served on a number of non-profit boards none of which ran their organizations like this one. SEGD is second to none in how they support, communicate, educate and show genuine appreciation to their volunteers. The staff never makes you feel like you are getting in their way. Rather, they recognize how much value we contribute to the organization not to mention how much money we save them in payroll and benefits. All of us support each other never taking our eye off the overall mission of training world-class dogs that support the vision impaired and our veterans with disabilities.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Excellent organization to volunteer for in many diverse roles that provide assistance for the puppies and young adult dogs along with the students. A great opportunity for expanding your education on service and guide dog training and hands on experience that helps so many. First rate campus and staff and highly recommend to volunteers searching for a good fit.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great organization pursuing a great mission. The organization offers a wide variety of volunteer opportunities, all supported by an exceptional staff. Volunteers are truly appreciated, and volunteers feel they contributed to the successful match between Guide/Service dog and its handler. So lucky to live close by so I can volunteer on campus.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

Top notch organization providing independence for those who are visually impaired and those in the military (active and retired). The volunteers are offered various volunteer opportunities throughout the campus, allowing us to be an integral part of their mission. Training is also provided to the volunteers on a regular basis. Volunteers are greatly appreciated and paid in lots of puppy love. I feel strongly that my volunteering responsibilities contribute to the making of a SEGD superhero!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Last month I was lucky enough to graduate from Southeastern Guide Dogs with my new guide. This is a top notch facility. There truly are not enough words to explain the magnitude of the gift this school has given me. I ask you, what price can you put on your independence? Southeastern provides all their services absolutely free of charge. The facility itself is gorgeous. The staff is the kindest you will find anywhere. They put the welfare of their dogs and their students before anything else. The three weeks I spent at the school changed my life. My new guide has given me the confidence to walk out my front door unafraid for the first time in 10 years. If you are someone in need of a guide dog, do not hesitate to apply to this school. If you are a donor, puppy raiser or sponsor, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your gift has changed my life.

cathyglen

Volunteer

Rating: 5

An amazing organization! I've volunteered at many non-profits throughout my life, and Southeastern Guide Dogs is truly inspiring. They not only educate and train their guide dogs and service dogs and students but they also educate and train their volunteers! The staff works diligently to find the perfect fit for every volunteer.

Bravos to the staff!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Wonderful ! This is an organization that is always striving to educate their employees and volunteers with the latest innovations. Their goal is to change someone's life by providing a trained dog to give more independence.... whether a guide dog or a veteran service dog for PTSD.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I came to know Southeastern Guide Dogs from living nearby at Tree Lakes RV and resort in Palmetto Florida. Our senior park is a big supporter. I have attended many of the dog walks in Bradenton and last year the park earned the right to name a puppy. I am now 82 years old and needed to find something to keep me occupied. A friend suggested Southeastern Guide Dogs and said they might need volunteers. Well I found out they did, i applied, was accepted and have been working about a month. I was blown away at how large they have grown and how how many volunteers there are along with professional workers. I am thrilled to be a part of the team and be able to give to so many in need. The organization is amazing and I am learning how much it takes to bring the puppy to being a Super Guide Dog. The staff have been great and helped me to become comfortable in my duties. It has given me value to my life and amazing life to those we have helped. I am looking forward to my continued journey.

Deborah Pfaelzer I.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They say that Disneyland is the happiest place on Earth but I respectfully disagree and think that Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc. is the happiest place in the Universe! I've been a volunteer for a little over 5 years and love every minute of my time spent on campus! Everyone is amazing and the dogs never cease to bring a smile to my face. This place truly changes lives and I am grateful to be able to help make a difference in people's lives.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc. truly changes people's lives! I have been volunteering there for over 3 years and witness the gift we give to the blind and PTSD sufferers on a weekly basis! It makes my heart sing to be a part of such a wonderful organization!

Laura Steven S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering with SEGD for the last year and a half and they are truly an amazing organization. I've worked with them as a puppy raiser, breeder hoast and campus volunteer. Everyone is so incredible to work with! Always so knowledgable and very supportive. Truly blessed to have them in our local area!

1 Jan A.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a SEGD volunteer and puppy sitter I whole heartedly endorse Southeastern Guide Dogs and their mission to place expertly trained dogs in the lives of people who need the help a dog has to offer. They really do change people’s lives.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is just a wonderful, positive place! Happy dogs - happy people! As a volunteer I feel grateful to be part of this organization. It is very well-run by people who really care. There is a genuine passion here!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I volunteer at Southeastern Guide Dogs on their campus. I am so proud to be part of their mission. Every puppy and dog are so well taken care of and every staff member/trainer and volunteer take their roles seriously. The dogs are loved dearly and placed with their “forever person” with the utmost care.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Outstanding program for the recipients and everyone involved in making it happen. The facility is top notch, volunteer program is extremely well run, the facilities are clean, and the dog training is thoughtful consistant and geared towards the dogs comfort and happiness. I can't say enough about South Eastern Guide Dogs. You must see it for yourself. Once you go you will want to be involved.

Sandra W.4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am close to retiring and was looking for volunteer work to fill my time. I'd seen Southeast Guide Dog volunteers at stores from time to time and chatted with them one day, then decided to take a closer look. I toured the facility (amazing - like a college campus!), attended several meetings to get a good feel for what was required, and it was clear how dedicated all the staff and volunteers were. I signed up to be a Puppy Raiser, and am absolutely thrilled with my decision. It's a lot of work and love, but so worth it, and the organization has incredible support for Puppy Raisers!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer and board member of several nonprofits over the years, I have been most impressed with Southeastern Guide Dogs. I currently volunteer with SEGD in many capacities, both on campus and as a puppy raiser. Their commitment to their mission, staff, volunteers, dogs and students is exceptional.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined for the opportunity to raise a puppy, and stay to continue the mission and for the friends I have made along the way. I like that the departments continue to do research and advance how we can raise service dogs better or quicker. I’m also amazed at the countless volunteers! As a puppy raiser, I meet people all the time who say how much they love Southeastern, or ask how they can be involved. I contribute with time and financials and believe both are well spent. The Instagram feeds @seguidedogs and @guidedogtrainers are just one window into the day to day activities. The feel Good Friday you Tube videos also are great representations of how this not for profit works. And the best part...the dogs are free to those who need them and come with support while they are in service!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first was introduced to Southeastern in mid-1987 & was very impressed. The school was very young then with huge potential. Having worn eyeglasses since childhood and with a intense love for dogs, I recognized a common ground & immediately wanted to become involved. But for work-related reasons, that involvement didn't come for several years.

Fast forward to October 2019 - my 11th year volunteering for Southeastern. I began my journey as a puppy raiser. What a rewarding experience! Since then, I've had the opportunity to volunteer in several other areas - assisting in the early education of our puppies, working at the front desk in our Student Center, conducting tours on our 33-acre campus, helping out with public events and fundraising for the annual Walkathon and sponsoring/naming five puppies. I adopted my beautiful black Lab, Lindy, from Southeastern and she & I became part of the Ambassador program. As an Ambassador team we represented Southeastern both on and off campus, participating in events, speaking engagements and visiting schools, nursing homes and hospitals.

Without question, Southeastern Guide Dogs is in a nonprofit class by itself...World Class! From the dedicated, forward-thinking Board of Directors, the creative , hard-working staff and the hundreds of selfless volunteers across several states, this organization is simply top notch. And from my point of view...the appreciation for what I contribute to the overall success of Southeastern is demonstrated constantly from the top down. An admirable attribute not commonly found in many organizations today.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I first came to the SEGD campus in 1984. We were visiting family and we came to see and interact with the puppies. At that time the “campus” consisted of one building and some walking paths. The role of the visitor was to walk and groom a puppy or older dog to help with socializing, a very important part of their training.
In 200 we moved to the Tampa area from Iowa and began a new chapter in our journey. Last fall we saw a news story about SEGD and decided to run down and check it out as we had not been there since our first visit in 1984. Needless to say, we were blown away by the transformation from a single to building to a true campus. We were so impressed and inspired that we immediately made a donation while we were there.
Because of our donation we were contacted by the organization and invited to a private tour of the entire facility. We were absolutely in awe of everything they have accomplished and the wonderful work that is done to transform people lives. All by donation, no government funding. We’ve been invited to a few recipient graduations and an event showcasing the work and support that is given to our precious war veterans and their families.
When I retired earlier this year I already knew I wanted to give even more and signed up to become a volunteer. I was worried it would take a while to get in,but, to my surprise I was able to start right away. Best decision I ever made. The entire staff, from HR to canine techs have been wonderful to work with and are so grateful for all the help they receive from the volunteers.
I love this opportunity to spread the work about this amazing notforprofit organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering on the Southeastern Guide Dog Campus for five years and have worked in a myriad of different roles all over the campus. I have observed this campus go through an absolutely remarkable transformation physically, while simultaneously maintaining a high level of of canine care and training for our dogs. The new facilities allowed the team at SEGD take everything they do to a new level. Even to the point of other facilities to come to our campus and observe. That in itself is a huge compliment.

Our CEO Titus Herman set out a vision and a plan to be the best facility of it's kind in the world. It is a vision shared by all of the Volunteers and Employees. This amazing vision and leadership has all been achieved through donations from some very caring, generous people, and corporations. This out pouring of generosity has allowed us to update thirty year old buildings that were bursting at the seams. To give us a state of the art facility. In my humble opinion even with all of the help, it could not have be achieved without fiscal responsibility. The entire management team and Board members shepherd the dollars they are given with upmost fiscal responsibility.

We expanded our service dog training to include our outstanding military veterans who now suffer PTSD. I volunteer in this program and have personally seen the end result of everyones efforts on the campus. At the end of one training exercise a young man walked up to me shook my hand and said, " I wanted to personally thank you. " I thanked him for his service and sacrifice. He said, "you don't seem to understand, two weeks ago I never thought I would see the inside a mall again in my life now I am standing here with you in front of Macy's."

There are a lot of charity's one can give money to. As you contemplate this decision I encourage you to look at the videos on our website. Visit our campus for a personal tour we are open and transparent and see what we do.

We transform lives and give people an enhanced and a new beginning in life. I could not be any happier knowing that I am just one cog in a wheel that helps Southeaster Guide Dogs accomplish their goals and aspirations.

Alan Skulsky
Campus Volunteer

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer puppy raiser with Southeastern Guide Dogs for 10+ years (I am currently raising my 10th puppy). I was looking for a way to fill some free time but wanted it to be purposeful. I saw another puppy raiser out and about with their puppy wearing Southeastern Guide Dog's dintinctive blue coat and I knew I had my answer. The school provides us puppy raisers with all the help and support we need to turn in happy, well socialized puppies who are ready to move on to the next phase of their training. It is a wonderful feeling to know that I am helping change someone's life and having fun in the process! I highly recommend Southeastern Guide Dogs to anyone looking for a place to donate time, resources or money!

Donna N.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

From the moment I stumbled across their website and started my journey as a volunteer, I have had nothing but magical experiences. Each person I meet on campus, each future superhero I work with, every department I interact with, come together seamlessly in this shared vision and focused effort. Everything they do “pays it forward”, in a never ending miracle. And the work I do in the Puppy Nursery is a most precious labor of love and always the highlight of my week!

Joel F.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a Disabled Veteran, and Volunteer at Southeastern Guide Dogs. I have worked as a photographer, Training Center helper, and occasionally bring a dog home for the weekend. I have seen the employees working with the dogs, and the new Handlers. They could not be better, at what they do for the blind and those with PTSD. The stories, I have heard, from the graduate handlers are amazing, and life changing. I give Southeastern Guide Dogs 5 Gold Stars-plus!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A chance drive past a highway billboard 3 years ago when I moved to Florida, has given me the most meaningful volunteer experience I could ever imagine, as well as a sense of belonging to a most exceptional family of skilled professionals who are passionate about the organization's mission, and who do more and more each day to enhance the quality of experience for every person affiliated with them. They exceed all the standards of excellence they strive for, and bring hope, independence and confidence to deserving individuals, day after day. They deserve continuing support from the entire community.

Tammy Farrow A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After taking a tour of Southeastern's Palmetto Campus in 2015, I knew I had to become a part of this amazing organization. It has been the best experience and I am proud to be a part of Southeastern's family. Their dogs touch the lives of everyone they interact with from volunteers, puppy raisers, students, and people in the community. It changed my life when my husband and I become breeder hosts to Murphy in 2018. Southeastern not only accomplishes it mission but exceeds it every single day.

Ellen V.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

From the moment I arrived at the Southeastern Guide Dog campus, everyone was extremely friendly and helpful. The staff and the trainers were always asking if they could do more.I found the facilities on campus amazing and first class. The trainers at Southeast Guide Dogs were absolutely top notch in the way they were able to assess each student and match the perfect dog to their needs. It was not until I arrived home that I realized how well Southeast Guide Dogs had prepared me and my new best friend,Ella, to navigate the world beyond my own front door.

1 Scott R.4

Client Served

Rating: 5

Omg what can I say, In the first week of training and I can already see how my dog Bowen will improve my life, he keeps me calm helps me get around, knows when I am hurting and distracts my mind, no Better Program for vets