How Guide Dogs of America Gives ‘Tails of Independence’
A new video tells the remarkable first-person stories of how visually-impaired men and women are finding independence from guide dogs donated and trained by the Guide Dogs of America (GDA), and how GDA makes sure every dog is a perfect match for their human partner.
You’ll hear from folks like Pam Metz, a GDA Graduate who is now able to navigate her daily tasks with the help of her guide dog, Kingston. “My reason for getting a guide dog was that I needed to be independent,” said Metz. “I never have liked depending on anybody, and I needed the ability to go when I needed to go and do what I needed to do.” Greg Steinmetz received his first guide dog, Proxy, in 2004. “That really changed a lot for me and made me much more independent and confident and opened a lot of doors that I don’t think I would’ve gone through had I not had a guide dog,” said Steinmetz.
“Guide Dogs of America was founded to provide freedom and mobility to the blind and visually impaired,” said GDA President Dale Hartford. “So when they call the school, we know exactly what they need. We match them with a well-trained guide dog, and that allows them to travel through this world with freedom and independence – that’s our mission.”
GDA services are provided at no charge to guide dog recipients. All donations come from IAM members, IAM local and district events, caring individuals, businesses, foundations, clubs, and organizations as well as through wills and bequests. The cost to produce a qualified guide dog companion, train the dog and recipient as a team, and provide the follow-up services to ensure safety and effectiveness throughout the team’s working life, is over $42,000.
To learn more about Guided Dogs of America, call 818-362-5834 or visit www.guidedogsofamerica.org.