Fast Facts


Puppy on playground


To create and nurture a partnership between a visually impaired individual and a guide dog, facilitating life’s journey with mobility, independence and dignity.


Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization.

Our school has provided guide dogs to people with visual impairments for more than 30 years (since 1982).

Number of active guide dog partnerships: over 410

Number of guide dog teams since inception: more than 2,800

Southeastern Guide Dogs is accredited by the International Guide Dog Federation in Reading, England and is a member of the Council of U.S. Dog Guide Schools


PAWS FOR INDEPENDENCE™ – Our program matches highly trained guide dogs with visually impaired individuals, providing the gift of an independent lifestyle.

  • Guide Dogs
    Our students are as different as young from old, city from country. But all of them deserve a chance for self sufficiency. Students train on our Palmetto, Florida campus for 26 days, venturing from our secluded Freedom Walk out to city streets, shopping malls, and public transportation. Most leave here with a new spring in their step and a wider smile.  Learn more.

PAWS FOR PATRIOTS™ – On behalf of American heroes who have sacrificed so much, this program serves active duty soldiers and retired servicemen and women with the respect and dignity they deserve.

  • Guide Dogs
    Pairs highly trained guide dogs with visually impaired veterans. Veterans live and learn on campus, then receive lifetime follow-up and support. If you are a blinded veteran interested in learning more about how you may obtain a guide dog from Southeastern Guide Dogs, please click here.
  • Veteran Service Dogs
    Exceptional dogs not suitable for guide work placed into careers benefiting veterans who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress. Gaining confidence from these dogs, veterans expand their lives, regain mobility and independence and re-integrate into their communities. Learn more.
  • Facility Therapy Dogs
    Therapy dogs placed into military hospitals to spread cheer and encouragement and help wounded warriors heal from their injuries. Learn more.

GIFTED CANINES™ - Our guide dogs have met rigorous medical and behavioral standards before being paired with a student. Dogs who don’t quite meet these standards are selected to change careers into other fields that are important and provide great value to a variety of people.

  • Canine Connections Dogs
    Companion dogs placed with visually impaired children ages 10 – 17, building a bridge toward a future guide by acclimating the children to the responsibilities and joys of dog ownership. Learn More.
  • Public Service Dogs
    Dogs with specific aptitudes for careers in search and rescue or arson, bomb, and drug detection. Learn more.
  • Ambassador Dogs
    Dogs who work with our active volunteers providing outreach, education, and comfort to those in hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, and schools. Learn more.


35-acre campus featuring a park-like setting, three kennels, nine student rooms, a full-service cafeteria, a gift shop, and an administrative facility in Palmetto, Florida

Freedom Walk features nearly a mile and a half of paved walkways and an obstacle course for guide dog training

The school also operates training facilities in Sarasota, Bradenton, and St. Petersburg, Florida


2013 operating budget (including capital projects) – $9.3 million

Number of employees: 100+

Number of trainers/instructors: 20+

Cost to raise and train a guide dog from conception through working life: $60,000

Cost of services, equipment, instruction, lodging and meals to an individual recipient of a guide dog: $0

Our 2012 Annual Report will provide you with additional information regarding our 2011-2012 operations.


Number of active donors: more than 7,500

Number of core volunteers: more than 650

Number of volunteer hours per year (does not include puppy raiser and breeder host families): more than 25,000

Number of volunteer hours donated by puppy raisers per year: more than 1.3 million


Our school operates its own breeding colony, with approximately 50 breeder dogs.

Three Breeds: Labradors, golden retrievers and goldadors (Labrador/golden retriever mix)

Number of puppies currently being raised by volunteers: approximately 300

Number of puppies born on campus each year: approximately 250

Number of dogs currently in training: approximately 80

Number of miles a Southeastern Guide Dog trainer walks in a year – approximately 2,300

Most common names sponsors choose for puppies – Maggie, Buddy, Rose/Rosie

Number of dogs currently deployed: more than 1,000, including over 410 active guide dogs, more than 100 Gifted Canines, approximately 250 puppies in puppy raiser homes, and more than 200 dogs and puppies in the school’s kennels



Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc.
4210 77th Street East, Palmetto, FL 34221
Telephone: 941.729.5665 | Fax: 941.729.6646

Copyright 2013 © Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Site Map | Privacy Policy

Development by 360TRUE and HeliumStudio