Our Mission:

To improve the quality of life for people who are blind, have low vision, or have other special needs.

Who We Are

In 1946, when the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind was founded, its mission was simple: to provide guide dogs and training – free of charge – to people who were blind or visually impaired. 

A guide team walks in Nesconset Park during a training session.

For 70 years, the Guide Dog Foundation has trained and placed guide and service dogs to provide increased independence, enhanced mobility, and companionship to people who are blind, have low vision or have other disabilities.  Once they make the decision to get an assistance dog, applicants become part of the Foundations' open and welcoming community and are supported with an uncompromising commitment to excellence, from highly empathetic and certified trainers, to a meticulously constructed curriculum.  

The Guide Dog Foundation pairs each student with the dog that’s right for them – and the power of their bond makes ordinary moments extraordinary.  Crossing the street independently becomes a moment of liberation.  Traveling alone becomes a welcome adventure.  Embracing new experiences becomes an everyday occurrence.

Why Choose the Guide Dog Foundation?

People come to the Foundation for our trademark small classes, and individualized instruction.  The Guide Dog Foundation programs often attract people who may have special requirements.  The organization has successfully worked with people who are hearing-impaired in addition to being blind, as well as many who are physically challenged.  With their courage and determination, these remarkable teams reconnect us all to the highest form of freedom there is: the freedom to experience the world around us in any way we choose.  With a guide dog by their side, a person who is blind or has low vision can live without boundaries.

It costs over $50,000 to breed, raise, train, and place one assistance dog; however, all of the Foundations' services are provided at no charge to the individual.  Funding comes from the generosity of individuals, corporations, foundations, businesses, and service and fraternal clubs.

The Foundation would not be able to provide guide and assistance dogs free of charge to our consumers without your help.  The Guide Dog Foundation appreciates every dollar we receive, and your faith in us is extremely important.  Fiscal prudence is one of our top priorities as your donations allow us to advance our mission.  As we have been privileged to witness, a guide or assistance dog brings a newfound sense of independence and dignity to someone with disabilities.  

To learn more about the history of the Foundation, CLICK HERE.

Accreditation

In 2009, the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind became the first assistance dog school in the United States to be certified by the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International. 

Accreditation reinforces the organization's’ reputation in the assistance dog movement by showing that we consistently follow the highest standards for the humane and ethical treatment of dogs, maintain educational benchmarks for trainers and apprentices, and that there are procedures in place for consumers during the application and acceptance process, including a way for them to address any grievances.

Link to ADI    Link to IGDF

How the Foundation Rates as a Charity

The Guide Dog Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charity and is proud of its reputation as a charitable organization.  We consistently receive high marks from charity watchdog organizations. To learn more about how we rate with these groups, visit our listing on the websites linked below (click on logo to visit each website):

 Link to our Charity Navigator page.  Link to our Charity Watch page.  Link to our Guide Star page.  Link to our BBB page.

America's VetDogs

The Guide Dog Foundation was founded after World War II to provide guide dogs and training at no cost to veterans returning from the battlefields of Europe and the Pacific.  With the aging of America’s veterans, and as servicemen and women return home from current conflicts, the Foundation recognized there would be a greater need for guide dogs and specialized service dogs to help these disabled veterans live again in dignity and independence.

America’s VetDogs was created by the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, Inc. in 2003 to provide assistance dogs to America’s wounded veterans to help them return to a life without boundaries.  In 2006, it became a separate 501(c)(3) corporation; the two organizations continue to share staff and other resources to ensure people with disabilities receive the best services possible.  

Contact Us

If you have a question or would like to learn more about our services, contact the Foundation at:

Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, Inc.
371 East Jericho Turnpike
Smithtown, NY 11787-2976

1-631-930-9000
Toll-free:1-800-548-4337 (within the US)
Fax: 1-631-930-9009
info@guidedog.org

If you have a general message, or if you are unsure who to send your message to, please address it to info@guidedog.org, and we will promptly route it to the appropriate person.