President’s Message

Dale Hartford holding a yellow lab puppyOver the years, Guide Dogs of America has transformed from a small organization to a world-class guide dog school. The steady growth and enhancements to the program have been accomplished through the dedication and hard work of our puppy raisers, volunteers and staff, and the generosity of all of our donors

We have made some recent changes in our Nursery and Puppy Departments by incorporating a puppy enrichment program. We are seeing great results with this program and are excited to share the details with you in the Winter issue of our Partners newsletter. Read it here.

In addition, starting next year, GDA is transitioning from 28-day classes to 21-day classes for our clients in the United States and Canada who receive the gift of a guide dog at absolutely no cost to them.

It costs $42,000 to graduate one guide dog team, and each class has up to 10 teams. Another change that we are considering is to have an additional class added to our schedule. This change comes with unique challenges. Adding a class will require more time from our trainers and staff, as well as increased fundraising efforts. Thanks to our generous donors and GDA’s stewardship of the funds we receive — 83 percent of all our funds raised are available for program services — we are able to make it possible.

As I begin my sixth year at GDA, I am excited about all that we have accomplished together and look forward to the changes and growth ahead of us. Thanks to all of you, GDA is more alive and vibrant today than ever. I am filled with pride for our school and deeply grateful to all of you for what we have become.


Dale E. Hartford

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