Program Dog and Puppy Update
March 25, 2020
Dear Friends and Family,
I hope this message finds you and your families healthy and well. At the Guide Dog Foundation and America’s VetDogs, we have been working tirelessly to ensure the health and safety of the dogs and puppies in our care, our students and graduates, our volunteers, and our staff. Our leadership team has been meeting daily to evaluate and adjust our response to the ever-changing landscape brought on by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis.
As the seriousness of the situation evolved, our most recent guide dog class was sent home early. They were nearly finished with their training, so their new guide dogs were able to accompany them.
In accordance with New York State expectations and to do our part, we minimized the on-campus staff to the fullest extent possible while still providing care for our dogs. Staff who can work remotely are doing so, and we remain available to respond to inquiries from our graduates, donors, and volunteers.
Our Canine Care, Volunteer Service, and Training Teams
have been working around the clock to find temporary homes for our puppies and dogs, and we have been amazed by the immediate response and support of our volunteers. One week ago, we had over 280 puppies and dogs in our kennels and nursery – today, only 7 adult dogs and 15 newborn puppies remain on campus, allowing us to keep staff to a minimum.
The program dogs in our kennels
have also been relocated to foster homes. Dogs undergoing their formal guide or service dog training are living with their trainers so that they may continue working in anticipation for the day when we can resume classes and normal business operations. The puppies in our prison puppy program have also found new homes for the time being to ensure their health and safety.
The Consumer Services team and Field Service Representatives
will continue to support our graduate community through virtual meeting tools, and will continue to be available via phone, email, and online whenever needed for anyone requesting assistance with their guide or service dog.
I recognize that we are facing unprecedented times, but I am confident that the same spirit that unites us as Americans will see us through this. To help us meet the current challenges, please consider making a donation so that we can ensure that the puppies and dogs in foster homes with our volunteers and staff remain healthy and cared for. It costs about $25 per day to provide food, shelter and around the clock care for one
of our program dogs. Please consider a gift of $25 for one day or $100 for other medical needs such as vaccinations, so that we may continue to fulfill our mission.
I have been incredibly impressed by the collective spirit and passion our team - volunteers, donors, and staff – displays every day. We continue to monitor the situation closely and will take necessary measures to ensure the well-being of our community.
Thank you for your support.
President & CEO
Guide Dog Foundation and America’s VetDogs