Guide Dog Foundation

How to Help

Sponsor a Puppy


Did you know that you can help change the life of someone with a disability by funding a puppy sponsorship from the Guide Dog Foundation? When you sponsor a puppy, you can give the gift of Second Sight® to someone who is blind or visually impaired, or who has a disability other than blindness.

What is puppy sponsorship?

Puppy sponsors make a $6,000 contribution to the Foundation that helps defray some of the costs to breed, train, and place a guide or service dog with a person who is blind or visually impaired. Including transportation and room and board of the new handler/dog team, the total cost of an assistance dog is in excess of $55,000 per team. All our services and equipment are provided free of charge to our students.

For their generous donation, sponsors get the opportunity to name a puppy.

Do I have to pay for a sponsorship at once?

You can open a sponsorship with an initial donation and make a pledge to fulfill that commitment within three years. We will be happy to work out a contribution schedule with you so you can complete your sponsorship. You will not be able to name a puppy until the sponsorship is paid in full.

Can I sponsor a puppy with a group?

Of course you can. While many puppy sponsors are individuals, service organizations, clubs, businesses, or students often pool their resources to open a puppy sponsorship. Holding a third-party fundraiser is a great way to raise the money to do this. You can hold a special event such as a golf tournament, 5K race, or walk-a-thon; garage or bake sales; or have a contest among your members or employees, etc.

In cases when multiple people have contributed to a sponsorship, the name for the puppy can be chosen by lottery or consensus.

What can I name the dog?

Some people choose to name dogs in honor of a loved one who has passed away, to celebrate a new birth, or remember a close friend or special time in their lives. Groups who raise money together often pick a name that reflects their organization or line of work.

What happens when I sponsor a puppy?

You will receive a framed certificate of recognition and a photo of the puppy you sponsored. When it is about 2 months old, the puppy goes to live with its puppy walker family, who will housebreak it, teach it good house manners, and expose it to many adventures and experiences. Along the way, you’ll receive periodic updates.

After about a year, the dog returns to the Foundation for formal training. There are many wonderful careers that await a sponsored dog: a guide dog for someone who is blind or visually impaired; a balance dog for someone who is missing a limb; a physical or occupational therapy dog to work with wounded soldiers at a military or VA medical center; a breeder for the next generation of guide and service dogs.

To learn more about puppy sponsorships and ideas for raising funds, please contact Donna DeSivo at 631-930-9037 or

You can download the puppy sponsorship brochure and application here.