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Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Blind & Visually Impaired Centers, Disabilities, 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

328 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.

tomcote01

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I moved to Florida from Connecticut about a year ago I was so excited to learn that there was a guide dog organization so close to where I live in Palmetto. Having volunteered at another guide dog organization in Patterson New York for many years I know how rewarding this type of activity was. I have been a volunteer at the puppy academy at Southeastern guide dogs for over 25 hours now and I have loved every minute of it. They’re a great organization who really care about the people that work and volunteer there. I know that no matter what activity I do as a volunteer whether it’s feeding puppies or cleaning the kennels it is contributing to allowing a young pup to become a future guide dog and thus change the course of someone’s life forever. If you’re thinking of volunteering I highly suggest this organization, you will love it.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer puppy raiser for Southeastern Guide Dogs for 5 years and they are a wonderful and professional organization! It was important to me when investing my time, resources and heart, to work with a service dog nonprofit that monitored the dog's health and safety, as well as vetted carefully the client that would become the pup's life partner. There is continual assistance for me as a raiser for every question, ongoing training and troubleshooting. Being a puppy raiser is truly a life style. I'm privileged to be part of an organization that is "all in" when it comes to raising healthy dogs, investing in training volunteers, and placing dog/handler teams together that are truly life changing.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with Southeastern Guide Dogs since 2010...as a puppy raiser, campus volunteer and donor. As an "insider", I can tell you this is an outstanding organization in terms of its leadership, integrity and mission. It is an honor to be affiliated with such a life altering organization...its people and its dogs.

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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.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Hello i saw a story on ABC national news 5/20/22 about one of your loving animals. I felt the need to donate to your fine organization. I live in Chattanooga, Tn and foster cats, and walk dogs at one of our non kill shelters. Keep up the good work.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Top notch organization. The dogs are bred , loved, cared for, trained and placed with candidates who themselves are given a training period and accommodation on the Southeastern Guide Dog campus .

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an amazing organization that changes lives forever. From the moment you step on campus, you know you have entered a place where every aspect of the organization is dedicated to achieving the mission (to transform lives by creating and nurturing extraordinary partnerships between people and dogs). The staff and volunteers are welcoming, caring helpful and knowledgeable. Everyone is treated with respect and kindness!
Please help support Southeastern Guide Dogs-start with viewing the videos on the quality website.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization is the nonprofit I have ever been involved with both as a volunteer, but also donating to. I started volunteering just prior to the start of the pandemic. While the pandemic was going on, they did everything they could to keep the volunteers involved and also educated while we were not able to be on campus. They offered online training and kept us up-to-date on things going on. Since being able to do in person work there, I love every shift. They make all volunteers feel very valued.

I also make monetary donations every month thru their adopt a dog program. I love receiving updates on the pups. Brings smiles to my face. We also donate during other times thru out the year.

You will not find a better organization to volunteer or donate to. I have been able to see first hand the difference they make in so many people’s lives whether it be as a volunteer, employee, or recipient of a dog.

Brenda Riggs K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Southeastern Guide Dogs gets it right both in terms of excellence in dog training and excellence with the people they serve and their volunteers. I have volunteered at a lot of organizations and this is by far the most well-run volunteer program. I feel that as a member of the Canine Fitness Center volunteer team, that I'm on the cutting edge of guide and assistance dog training and preparation and that's exciting! As a volunteer I've felt welcomed and valued from the first day and each day I come to help out. The facilities and programs are all top notch.

Jnl K.

Client Served

Rating: 5

It is with a great sense of joy and humbleness that my life path intersected with this extraordinary organization. The confidence and freedom that my companion Toby has brought me is nothing short of magical. The staff from trainers, support personnel, and administration are extremely devoted and gifted at what they do. I can honestly say this group is a true and sincere example at creating and instilling a positive vibe that has a client served I can assimilate well into my environment and society. I wrote this on the early morning of my last day.

Unconditional Love;
A concept introduced to us by our creator ~~
And it comes to fruition in the form of a beautiful creature that we call Dog.
And as God always has a way of showing us the light
Dog spelled backwards is one name for our creator,,,
How simple but truly amazing is that £

In closing that poem represents what Southeastern Guide Dog Academy “is”

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, all office personnel, 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!!

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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!!

Veronica Mae D.

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a Veteran with PTSD all of the staff at Southeastern Guide dogs make you feel so comfortable and safe. The admissions people become your lifeline to the organization and help to make sure you are a good candidate and that all your needs are met. The trainers are such stars, they match you with a dog that is so compatible to you and your needs. They make sure you feel safe as you go through the program. They help you to be good dog handlers, by the time you leave class , you are confident and excited to start your new life! Housekeeping, The Chefs, everyone there make you feel like family. There is no other Service Dog organization like this.

Client Served

Rating: 5

A “world class” organization providing “matched teams” for applicants requiring Guide Dog or Service Dog assistance. Time is invested visiting and getting to “know” the applicant to ensure the correct “match” if available prior to applicant acceptance and arrival on campus.
Comfortable facilities, professional staff, personal training and safe environment.
You will leave campus with a “Partner and Independence” for daily living.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What a wonderful charity to support! We have raised 3 puppies with SEGD and have enjoyed each, very different, experience. Our whole family becomes involved in various ways but we all equally love the pups to the very end when we anxiously await to learn of their destiny! The organization is supportive and responsive to all of our questions or concerns since we are not the experts. They make the experience positive in the way that we hope one of our pups will be a gift to a person in need.

Sally F.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For the past 14 months, my husband and I have been puppy raisers for Southeastern Guide Dogs. We were introduced to the group by our best friends who have raised many puppies for this organization. We decided to be puppy raisers from seeing how professionally Southeastern Guide Dogs supports not only its raisers (who are all volunteers), but also the dogs, and the people who are the recipients of their services- people who are visually impaired, veterans and others. As a volunteer puppy raiser, the organization provided us with wonderful written materials, online classes, and regular in person training. All of these educational opportunities helped us give our guide dog puppy the best start so he can ultimately support others who need him and his skills. We never felt alone when raising the pup. We had support from other raisers in our group, our Area Coordinator who was always available to answer questions, and a Regional Manager who could act as a liaison with the organization and provide additional support as needed. We had a very positive experience with Southeastern Guide Dogs from before we picked up our pup, to when we returned him to school for his advanced training at their “canine college.” We believe in Southeastern Guide Dogs so much that we also support their fundraising efforts through their walkathons and other fund raising efforts to support veterans and others.

Colleen15

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a puppy raiser for 11 years and it could not have been a more rewarding time of my life. Seeing these puppies mature into trained guide dogs, facility dogs, emotional support animals, or breeders has given me sense of pride and accomplishment. My life has been enriched by seeing how these dogs have changed the lives of people who need their help.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've raised 2 puppies for Southeastern Guide Dogs and believe in their cause 100%. They invest thousands of dollars into each guide dog and never charge the visually impaired recipient. One visit to their campus convinced me that they are one of the highest quality organizations I know.

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

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.

Previous Stories

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.

Previous Stories

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.