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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

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

Mission: Founded in 1982, Southeastern Guide Dogs creates and nurtures a partnership between a visually impaired individual and a guide dog, facilitating life''s journey with mobility, independence and dignity. All services - which include the breeding and training of dogs; on-campus instruction for the students; and lifetime follow-up for graduates - are provided free of charge. Our school is accredited by the International Guide Dog Federation, based in Reading, England, and is the only such guide dog school in the southeastern United States.

Programs: PAWS FOR INDEPENDENCE partners individuals with visual impairments with professionally trained guide dogs. Our certified trainers provide students with 26 days of individualized instruction at our Palmetto, Florida campus - and lifetime support and follow up. Currently we serve more than 800 active graduates. We provide the guide dogs, equipment, single-room lodging, all meals, outings, instruction and post-graduation support completely free of charge, thanks to the generosity of our important contributors. The average working life of a guide dog is eight years, and the majority of our graduates obtain multiple guide dogs from Southeastern Guide Dogs. The process of developing and serving a successful guide dog team takes an average of ten years (two years of training and eight years of post-graduation services) and approximately $60,000. Paws For Independence, like all programs at Southeastern Guide Dogs, receives no governmental funding. We rely solely on the generosity of people like you.

Community Stories

1 Story from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My daughter is a trainer at Southeastern Guidedogs in Palmetto, Florida. I have been there for hug a puppy and dog walking. If you are feeling down spend a day there and you cannot leave there in a bad mood. Impossible! Southeastern Guidedogs pairs the visually impaired, veterans (also with PTSD), children, and service organizations with a dog. The dog's training, medical care, food, etc. is at NO COST to the student. This organization is solely funded with donations. The trainers not only train the dogs but each student is housed and fed during class. In those weeks the students are taught by the trainers how to use and trust their companion, giving each one mobility and independence. A truly life changing event! Just watch this video and your heart is filled with joy at the sight of visually impaired getting around places they were not able to go to before. It is awesome!!