Guide Dog Foundation & America’s VetDogs Celebrate Renovated Training Center With Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Newly Renovated Training Center Updated To Increase Training & Meet Demand of Service Dogs For Veterans & First Responders With Disabilities
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Smithtown, New York): Guide Dog Foundation and America’s VetDogs, sister national non-profit organizations that train and place guide and service dogs, hosted a ribbon cutting event on Tuesday, July 6th at their campus in Smithtown, New York to celebrate the opening of the newly renovated, state of the art, training facility.
With the ever growing demand for service dogs, the need for expansion of the training facility will assist in placing more guide and service dogs with veterans and first responders with disabilities. The expansion and renovations were made possible by the support and donations by the Bob and Dolores Hope Foundation, Francis & Gertrude Levett Foundation, Manual Barron, Ludwick Family Foundation, Scaife Family Foundation, Van Sloun Foundation, Manitou Fund and the The Omer Foundation. Two additional training rooms were added, a mock apartment was created for hearing dog training in real-world situations, new office space was built, and the veterinary clinic and grooming rooms were located.
Notable attendees included New York State Senator Mario Materra, New York State Senator Alexis Weik, New York Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army Steven Castleton, Senior Veterans Services Officer for Suffolk County Retired U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard Master Sgt. Melissa Pandolf, Smithtown Town Supervisor Ed Wehrheim, America’s VetDogs Board Chair Don Dea, and VetDogs Board Member and HIA-LI Board Chariman Joe Campolo.
“To increase our capacity to train our dogs, the Guide Dog Foundation and America’s VetDogs embarked on an ambitious renovation of our training center to create additional spaces where more instructors will be able to train their dogs at the same time. Among these improvements is a mock apartment, which includes a kitchen, living room, and bedroom areas that will allow instructors to train their dogs in “real-world” scenarios.” President & CEO John Miller, Guide Dog Foundation and America’s VetDogs
It costs over $50,000 to breed, raise, train, and place one assistance dog; however, all of the Foundation and VetDogs’ services are provided at no charge to the individual. Funding comes from the generosity of individuals, corporations, foundations, businesses, and service and fraternal clubs. To learn more you can visit www.GuideDog.org and www.VetDogs.org.
About America’s VetDogs
Since 2003, America’s VetDogs (www.VetDogs.org) has trained and placed guide and service dogs to provide independence, enhanced mobility, and companionship to veterans with disabilities from all eras. In 2015, VetDogs opened its programs to first responders, including fire, police, and emergency medical personnel. America’s VetDogs is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization founded by the Guide Dog Foundation and serves clients from across the United States. VetDogs relies on contributions from generous individuals, corporations, service clubs, and foundations to fund its mission to help those who have served our country live with dignity and independence. It costs over $50,000 to breed, raise, train, and place one assistance dog, but America’s VetDogs provides its services completely free of charge to the individual. America’s VetDogs has been accredited by both the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International.
About the Guide Dog Foundation
For more than 75 years, the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, Inc. (www.GuideDog.org), has trained and placed guide and service dogs to provide independence, enhanced mobility, and companionship to people who are blind, have low vision, or have other special needs. The Guide Dog Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization serving clients from across the United States and Canada. The Foundation relies on contributions from generous individuals, corporations, service clubs, and foundations to fund its mission to serve people with disabilities. It costs over $50,000 to breed, raise, train, and place one assistance dog, but the Guide Dog Foundation provides its services completely free of charge to the individual. Its sister organization, America’s VetDogs, trains and provides guide, service, and hearing dogs for disabled veterans and first responders. The Guide Dog Foundation was the first assistance dog school in the United States to be accredited by both the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International.