Competition BMW Proudly Supports the Guide Dog Foundation of Smithtown
How Your Donation Can Help The Guide Dog Foundation of Smithtown
$25 – Provides water dishes, a leash and a collar
$50 – Feeds one dog for two months
$75 – Provides a year’s supply of heart-worm preventative
$100 – Goes towards a specially designed harness
$250 – Provides vaccinations and vet exams
$500 – Goes towards travel costs for incoming students
Learn more about The Guide Dog Foundation of Smithtown and their mission at guidedog.org
Inside Every Service Dog Beats the Heart of Their Puppy Raiser
The mission of the Guide Dog Foundation of Smithtown is simple—to provide guide dogs and training, free of charge, to people who are blind or visually impaired.
The training process can take up to two years to complete, but almost half of the dogs don’t make the cut, mainly due to a temperament that’s too high-strung or too calm, or for health reasons like hip problems or poor eyesight. The ones that do graduate and become guide dogs significantly improve the quality of life for people who are blind, have low vision or other special needs.
The cost of breeding, raising, training and then pairing them with the right person is over $50,000, but volunteer puppy raisers who have been properly trained, can make a tremendous difference in the outcomes for their puppy student. Every donation raised makes a difference in helping to provide care for the dogs during their training and to advance the foundation’s mission in the local community. The foundation needs volunteers to answer phones, walk dogs and give tours, and most importantly, they need puppy raisers.
“We are grateful for the support we receive from Competition BMW. Funding is vital to continue our mission and comes from individual donors, community fundraising, sponsorships and events that we do, many in partnership with Competition BMW,” says Jaime McGrade, Community Fundraising Events Manager of the Guide Dog Foundation.
Because of the Competition BMW guide dog events, some clients have volunteered to become trained as puppy raisers.
Puppy raisers take the puppy in at about 8 weeks old. They socialize the puppy, teach basic obedience and care for them until they are about 14 to 18 months old. It’s the job of the puppy raiser to take the puppy with them everywhere they go so they become comfortable in every situation. The more the puppy is socialized, the less training they will need later on.
After they are between 14 and 18 months old, they are returned to the organization to begin their certified training program and then are matched with a blind person, creating a team that will give them greater independence and create a bond that makes ordinary moments extraordinary.
Often the person paired with the dog is so grateful for the gift, they make sure to keep puppy raisers updated on the positive ways their work has changed their world.