Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind
371 East Jericho Turnpike
Smithtown NY 11787
Contact Information
Address 371 East Jericho Turnpike
Smithtown, NY 11787-
Telephone (631) 930-9000 x
Fax 631-930-9009
E-mail katherine@guidedog.org
Web and Social Media
Mission
To improve the quality of life for people who are blind, visually impaired, or with other special needs. 
 

Founded in 1946, The Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, Inc. provides independence for people who are blind, visually impaired, or with other disabilities through the use of guide and service dogs, collectively known as assistance dogs.  Guide dogs help people with visual disabilities move about safely and confidently.  Service dogs are trained to pick up dropped articles, open doors, push elevator buttons, warn of seizures, pull wheelchairs and act as ‘walking canes’ for people with amputations and balance problems and include assistance, therapy, facility, and companion dogs.  At the Guide Dog Foundation we breed, raise and train our own puppies, instruct persons on their use and provide a lifetime of aftercare support for the active team of handler and dog.  

At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 1950
Organization's type of tax exempt status Public Supported Charity
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years No
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Wells B. Jones CAE, CFRE
Board Chair Mr. Donald Dea
Board Chair Company Affiliation Fusion Products
Financial Summary
 
Projected Revenue $8,215,000.00
Projected Expenses $8,197,273.00
Statements
Mission
To improve the quality of life for people who are blind, visually impaired, or with other special needs. 
 

Founded in 1946, The Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, Inc. provides independence for people who are blind, visually impaired, or with other disabilities through the use of guide and service dogs, collectively known as assistance dogs.  Guide dogs help people with visual disabilities move about safely and confidently.  Service dogs are trained to pick up dropped articles, open doors, push elevator buttons, warn of seizures, pull wheelchairs and act as ‘walking canes’ for people with amputations and balance problems and include assistance, therapy, facility, and companion dogs.  At the Guide Dog Foundation we breed, raise and train our own puppies, instruct persons on their use and provide a lifetime of aftercare support for the active team of handler and dog.  

Background
When it was founded in 1946, one of the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind’s original tenets was to provide the gift of Second Sight®to blinded veterans of World War II.  For over 65 years the Guide Dog Foundation has provided guide dogs at no cost to veterans and civilians who are blind or visually impaired.  Headquartered in Smithtown, New York, the Foundation's ten-acre campus includes a training center with kennel space for up to 174 dogs; National administration center and student union; student residence hall with 17 private rooms and private baths; internet and phone access; and a breeding facility and puppy nursery.  The Foundation breeds its own pure Labrador and Golden Retrievers, first-generation Labrador/Golden crosses, Standard Poodles for those with allergies and specific breeding of German Shepherds and Shepherd/Collie crosses. 
 
The services of the Guide Dog Foundation provide independence, mobility and companionship for people who are blind, visually impaired or with other disabilities through the use of guide and service dogs, collectively known as assistance dogs.  Guide dogs help people with visual disabilities move about safely.  Service dogs are specially trained to help people with disabilities other than blindness and include assistance, therapy, facility and companion dogs.  Through our programs, people with disabilities receive highly skilled assistance dogs that provide safety, mobility, balance, stability and companionship; individual instruction on their use and a lifetime of aftercare support, free of charge.  We have successfully trained people with blindness, spinal cord injuries, hearing impairments, peripheral and central balance disorders, limb loss and traumatic brain injuries (TBI). 
 
As a response to the growing number of post-911 veterans applying for our specialized dogs and the aging of veterans from past conflicts, the Foundation's Board of Directors decided to give veterans top priority as recipients of our service dogs.  From this prioritization, America's VetDogs - The Veteran's K-9 Corps began in 2003 as a sister organization to the Guide Dog Foundation, and in 2007 it became its own 501(c)(3) corporation.  Its mission is to help those who have honorably served our country live with dignity and independence through the use of canine assistance.  America's VetDogs is an assistance dog program that uses guide, service, facility and therapy dogs to enhance the lives of disabled veterans of all ages. 

Impact

As the only assistance dog school in the United States to be accredited by both the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International, the two international regulatory bodies that certify guide and service dog schools on a voluntary basis, we have discovered how guide and service dog training can complement each other. Our guide dogs can now provide additional skills such as balance and stability for our blind recipients who may develop additional mobility problems as they age. And for our service dogs, guiding skills such as “intelligent disobedience” can be taught so a disabled veteran with traumatic brain injuries and cognitive problems will feel safe crossing a street or encountering a danger. Each day is a new challenge as we serve people with disabilities.

 

During our FY 2015, thousands of people including Americans with disabilities, veterans and active military will be directly impacted through the Guide Dog Foundation. This includes people partnering with guide and service dogs, servicemen and women at military hospitals and VA centers for physical and occupational therapy as well as persons benefiting from therapy and facility dogs. 

Needs

We estimate the cost to breed, train, and place a guide or service dog, combined with the training, transportation and housing of the team, and a lifetime of aftercare services is in excess of $50,000 per team, and all services and equipment are provided free of charge to blind, visually impaired, or otherwise disabled persons. We receive no government funding, and depend completely on generous donors and supporters to continue our services, and expand our ability to serve the increasing numbers of disabled persons requesting our specially trained dogs. 

 

A rapidly increasing proportion of the aging population experiences eye problems that make simple daily tasks difficult or impossible, even when wearing glasses or contact lenses, but severe eye problems are not just a matter of "getting older." The numbers of veterans with visual disabilities are on the rise; according to the Blinded Veterans Association (BVA) an estimated 16 percent of all wounded service members evacuated from Iraq and Afghanistan have suffered some type of serious eye injury, while still more may be experiencing vision problems as a result of traumatic injuries to the brain. In addition, over 50,000 soldiers have been severely wounded in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. 


Today we are faced with increased demands by veterans, active military personnel and the returning wounded as our men and women come home with life-altering injuries such as amputated limbs, blindness, paralysis, serious burns, traumatic brain injuries and severe emotional trauma. Many of these veterans can also benefit from our specially trained assistance dogs. 

Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Animal Related / Animal Training
Secondary Organization Category Human Services / Blind/Visually Impaired Centers, Services
Areas Served
National
Ansonia
Bethany
Branford
Cheshire
Derby
East Haven
Guilford
Hamden
Lower Naugatuck Valley
Madison
Milford
New Haven
North Branford
North Haven
Orange
Oxford
Seymour
Shelton
Shoreline
State wide
Wallingford
West Haven
Woodbridge
Other
We provide guide and service dogs to civilians and veterans of all eras from throughout the United States.  All dogs, equipment, training, transportation to our campus training facility, and a lifetime of after-care to the handler/dog team are provided free of charge.
Programs
Description
 Guide dogs help blind or visually impaired people get around in the world. To do this, a guide dog must know how to
  • Keep on a direct route ignoring all distractions such as smells, other animals and people
  • Maintain a steady pace
  • Stop at all curbs until told to proceed
  • Turn left and right, move forward and stop on command
  • Recognize and avoid obstacles that the handler won't be able to fit through (narrow passages and low overheads)
  • Stop at the bottom and top of stairs until told to proceed
  • Bring the handler to elevator buttons
  • Lie quietly when the handler is sitting
  • Help the handler to board and move around buses, subways and all forms of public transportation
  • Obey a number of verbal commands

Additionally, a guide dog must know to disobey any command that would put the handler in danger. This ability, called intelligent disobedience, is perhaps the most amazing thing about guide dogs; that they can balance obedience with their own assessment of the situation.

Population Served Other Health/Disability / Elderly and/or Disabled / People/Families with of People with Disabilities
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.  For FY 2014, our goal is to train and place 80 guide dogs and 40 service dogs. During our FY 2014, thousands of people including disabled Americans, veterans, and active military will be directly impacted through the Guide Dog Foundation. This includes people partnering with guide or service dogs, servicemen and women at military hospitals and VA centers for physical and occupational therapy, and persons benefiting from therapy and facility dogs.
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.  Freedom is precious to Americans. With their assistance dogs by their side a person with a disability no longer needs to ask for help them with daily tasks many people take for granted.The Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind assists people to overcome their unique challenges and remain safely mobile and independent.
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.  Our overall measure of the services provided by the Guide Dog Foundation is not just the number of dogs placed as guide or assistance dogs, but also the impact that our dogs have on the safety and independence of a blind or otherwise disabled person’s life. To ensure the success of our training and placement, evaluation of the services provided by the Foundation occurs throughout the process of breeding, raising, training, and placing our dogs. The Guide Dog Foundation strives to keep our “successful placement rate” (dogs that remain paired with their handler two years post-graduation) at 90% or higher—a number higher than the norm for other guide dog schools. All graduates receive a lifetime of aftercare that includes follow-up visits with trainers in the field, or additional facility training as necessary.
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.  The Guide Dog Foundation improves our consumers’ lives by providing people who are blind, visually impaired, or otherwise disabled with increased mobility, independence, and companionship. From the study Guide Dogs and the Visually Impaired: A Study of Trends, Usage, and Attributes of Guide Dog Users, conducted by Wedewer Research and Counsel: When asked to rate a list of benefits, the top two responses by participants were “moving around with more confidence” and companionship (82% each). Other benefits to having a guide dog included getting around faster (77%), getting around with fewer accidents (76%), getting around more accurately (74%), being less dependent on others to get around (73%), and feeling safer at home and on the streets (67%).
Description
Service dogs help increase the mobility and independence of a person with a disability other than visual.  Hearing dogs are specially trained to assist an individual by alerting their handlers to various sounds.  PTSD dogs are specially trained to help mitigate the symptoms of PTSD in an effort to provide the emotional support a veteran might need.  Our service dogs are placed with veterans only through our sister organization, America's VetDogs, free of charge.  Staff trainers match the appropriate dog to the appropriate applicant, then individually train the dog to mitigate the specific disabilities of the new owner. 
 
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a service animal must be individually trained to do work or perform tasks of benefit to a disabled individual in order to be legally elevated from pet status to service animal status. It is the specially trained tasks or work performed on command or cue that legally exempts a service dog [service animal] and his disabled handler from the “No Pets Allowed” policies of stores, restaurants and other places of public accommodation under the ADA. 
Population Served Other Health/Disability / Elderly and/or Disabled / People/Families with of People with Disabilities
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.
US Army 1st Lt. Melissa Stockwell (Ret.) is an America's VetDogs graduate.  She says of her service dog, "When I get home after a long day and take my prosthetic leg off, he can bring me my crutches.  He can help me up if I fall and climb stairs without a handrail.  Jake has made my life so much better.  He brings me so much joy and I am so thankful for all his companionship and all he has added to my life."  Today, Ms. Stockwell is a sought-after motivational speaker and has appreared on national TV, on multiple magazine covers, and was invited to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential library in Dallas, Texas.  She is also a competitive swimmer who competed on the US team in the 2008 Summer Paralympics.  Melissa is now a three-time paratriahlon world champion in the TRI2 division as a member of the US paratriathlon national team.
Description Therapy dogs are trained to provide assistance or therapeutic support for wounded warriors at military or VA hospitals. Under the supervision of a physical or occupational therapist these dogs work with a variety of patients with a multitude of serious injuries both physical and mental. Reaching 150 to 250 patients a week, a therapy dog may help a soldier walk on prosthetic legs by providing balance, open a door for a veteran who uses a wheelchair or provide emotional support so a wounded warrior can heal both physically and mentally. Therapy dogs also make visits to VA nursing homes and hospices.
Population Served Other Health/Disability / Other Named Groups / People/Families with of People with Disabilities
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Description
Advocacy and education are important components of our mission to enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities.
Population Served General/Unspecified / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Description
In the Prison Puppy Programs, specially selected inmates, many of whom are veterans who served our country honorably, raise our puppies to become assistance dogs who will be placed with our nation's veterans with disabilities.  The inmates, along with volunteer puppy raisers who take the puppies home each weekend, teach basic obedience along with some service-based skills such as fetch and retrieval, opening and closing doors and balance support.  We now have active programs in 11 prisons throughout Massachusetts, Maryland and most recently at Enfield Correctional Institution in Enfield, Connecticut.
 
Our Prison Puppy Programs have been vital in our efforts to build capacity to train and place our dogs with wounded American heroes of all eras.  Research shows that prison-raised dogs tend to have higher success rates than those that are home-raised; inmates are able to provide more consistent training at a higher level simply because of the amount of time they are able to devote to the pups in training. 
Population Served Other Health/Disability / Elderly and/or Disabled / People/Families with of People with Disabilities
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.
As a result of our focus on new training methods in prisons, which include teaching the dogs basic service dog tasks, once they "graduate" from the prison program and return to our campus, the advanced training time our staff needs to produce a successful assistance dog can be reduced by 50% (from 6 months to 2 - 3 months), thus allowing us to place the dogs with our veteran applicants are a faster rate. 
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.
Through our Prison Puppy Programs, our nation's heroes receive skilled assistance dogs, specially trained to perform tasks specific to the individual's needs and disabilities.  Inmate handlers are provided with skills they can use in their post-release employment as well as an opportunity to give back to society in a meaningful way.  Prisons benefit from a positive shift in attitude and atmosphere, truly making this program a win-win-win for all involved. 
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.
"This is one of the most significant restorative justice projects I have ever been involved with.  To have inmates - including incarcerated veterans - doing something this meaningful is beyond words.", says Gary Maynard, Secretary of Maryland's Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.
 
"I am so honored to be a part of this and so proud to know that what we are doing here will help a veteran.  It feels so good to know that we can give back and do something to help men and women that are coming back with so many problems.  This is just a small way I can redeem myself.", says Hazard Wilson, America's VetDogs inmate trainer.
 
CEO/Executive Director
Mr. Wells B. Jones CAE, CFRE
Term Start Nov 1989
Email Wells@guidedog.org
Experience

Wells Jones has more than 35 years' experience in national and regional not-for-profit management. Since 1989, he has served as chief executive officer of the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, Inc., and as president and CEO of America's VetDogs since 2006.

From the agency’s Smithtown, Long Island, New York, headquarters, Jones has implemented innovative development and program strategies that have seen the organization experience tremendous growth in both charitable revenue generated and numbers of blind and visually impaired individuals served.

Jones’s dedicated desire to optimize donated dollars and keep fundraising costs low was recently recognized by Reader’s Digest, naming the Foundation the number one charity in the nation that serves individuals with disabilities.

Under his leadership, the Guide Dog Foundation undertook a major capital expansion in 2002, which culminated with the construction of a new training center, complete with a state-of-the-art kennel, as well as a newly designed student residence hall. Jones’s vision of development is evident with the creation of America's VetDogs, to expand the Guide Dog Foundation's outreach to disabled veterans and active service members. With Jones’s strong leadership and innovative initiatives, the Guide Dog Foundation and America's VetDogs will continue to develop new programs to meet the growing needs of people with disabilities.

Staff
Number of Full Time Staff 73
Number of Part Time Staff 57
Number of Volunteers 1300
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate 95%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 0
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 130 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 0
Unspecified 130
Senior Staff
Title Chief Finance Officer
Title Director of External Relations
Title Director of Foundations and Major Gifts
Title Director of Canine Care
Title Director of Training
Title Director of Administrative Services
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
Awards
Award/RecognitionOrganizationYear
Social Responsibility AwardNew York Society of Association Executives2011
CyberSpace AwardNew York Society of Association Executives2011
"Power of A" Gold Award/America's VetDogsThe Center for Association Leadership2011
Four star ratingCharity Navigator2013
"A" ratingCharity Watch2015
Board Chair
Mr. Donald Dea
Company Affiliation Fusion Products
Term July 2015 to June 2017
Board of Directors
NameAffiliation
Mr. James C. Bingham TD Bank
Ms. Lynn Bissonnette
Mr. Alphonce J. Brown, Jr. ACFREVolunteer
Mr. Travis J. Carey CPA
Ms. Laura Casale AIA
Ms. Gretchen Evans Retired military
Ms. Deborah Firestone SUNY Stony Brook
Mr. Lee Hornstein
Mr. Wells B. Jones CAE, CFRECEO, Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind
Ms. Barbara Kelly Esq.Tax attorney
Ms. Elizabeth Kirkland
Mr. Arnold Lesser VMDNY Veterinary Speciality Center
Mr. Robert Madden Sterling Wealth Management Group
Mr. Lucas Matthiessen LCSW, CASACCatholic Charities
Mr. Jim Mayer
Mr. Chris Montagnino Volunteer
Mr. Edward P. Nallan Jr.
Mr. John J. O'Brien Volunteer
Mr. Warren Palzer Suffolk County National Bank
Ms. Mary Porter Volunteer
Mr. Jack Sage Volunteer
Mr. Bernard Sarisohn Esq.Volunteer
Ms. Dona Sauerburger COMSCertified Orientation & Mobility Specialist
Mr. Robert T. Stratford Jr.NY Commercial Bank
Mr. Glenn Tecker Tecker Consultants, LLC
Mr. Michael Troiano Esq.Volunteer
Ms. Heidi Vandewinckel LCSWNorthport VA Medical Center
Mr. Peter Way Volunteer
Mr. E. David Woycik, Jr. Esq.Sanders, Sanders, Block, Woycik, Viener & Grossman, PC
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 27
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 1 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 21
Female 9
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Program / Program Planning
Executive
Audit
Board Development / Board Orientation
By-laws
Finance
Investment
Personnel
Advisory Board / Advisory Council
Additional Board/s Members and Affiliations
NameAffiliation
Mr. Alphonce Brown ACFREVolunteer
Ms. Wendy Jankoski Wealth Architects, LLC
Mr. Curtis "C.J." Jensen IndenTrust, Inc.
Mr. David Marriott Marriott International, Inc.
Mr. Rusty McCormack Volunteer
Mr. Tim Peterson Volunteer
Mr. William Quinn Volunteer
Mr. Jack Radgowski Volunteer
Mr. Cary Schiff Esq.Volunteer
Mr. Ari Schiff Volunteer
Ms. Lisa M. Yambrick Volunteer
 
 
Financials
Fiscal Year Start July 01 2015
Fiscal Year End June 30 2016
Projected Revenue $8,215,000.00
Projected Expenses $8,197,273.00
Spending Policy Income plus capital appreciation
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund No
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Revenue Sources ChartHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201420132012
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$8,513,428$7,882,528$8,524,755
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Federal------
State------
Local------
Unspecified------
Individual Contributions------
------
------
Investment Income, Net of Losses$415,163$158,089$277,072
Membership Dues------
Special Events$43,737$10,866$7,555
Revenue In-Kind------
Other$161,169$119,324$115,076
Prior Three Years Expense Allocations Chart
Fiscal Year201420132012
Program Expense$7,107,820$6,884,579$6,614,294
Administration Expense$590,425$567,808$353,343
Fundraising Expense$718,851$776,371$500,972
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.090.991.19
Program Expense/Total Expenses84%84%89%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue8%10%6%
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201420132012
Total Assets$19,850,219$19,229,725$19,329,427
Current Assets$5,635,910$5,635,743$4,218,945
Long-Term Liabilities$3,920,338$4,336,790$4,754,101
Current Liabilities$981,219$831,945$660,164
Total Net Assets$14,948,662$14,060,990$13,915,162
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201420132012
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountPetco Foundation $130,000Petco Foundation $195,000Petco Foundation $194,094
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFred J. & Shirley H. Jordan Foundation $75,000Cinco Hermanos Fund - Barkley Account $50,000Cinco Hermanos Fund - Barkley Account $50,000
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountCinco Hermanos $50,000Renaissance Charitable Foundation $37,091Fred J. & Shirley H. Jordan Foundation $26,500
Solvency
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities5.746.776.39
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets20%23%25%
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Comments
CEO Comments Today the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind is faced with increased demands for our specially trained assistance dogs as the number of people with disabilities including the more than 50,000 veterans wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan grows.  It takes over two years to produce one assistance dog.  Given this necessary length of time it takes to train effective service dogs, NOW is the time for the Guide Dog Foundation to build our capacity to serve the increasing number of people with disabilities who apply for our special dogs. Additional financial resources will expand our capacity to produce more highly trained dogs to meet the increased applications and need for assistance dogs, and to better meet the changing needs of our disabled community.
Foundation Staff Comments This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Financial information is inputted by Foundation staff directly from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved by the nonprofit’s board. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. The Community Foundation is continuing to receive information submitted by the organization and may periodically update the organization’s profile to reflect the most current financial and other information available. The organization has completed the fields required by The Community Foundation and updated their profile in the last year. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.
Address 371 East Jericho Turnpike
Smithtown, NY 11787
Primary Phone 631 930-9000
Contact Email katherine@guidedog.org
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Wells B. Jones CAE, CFRE
Board Chair Mr. Donald Dea
Board Chair Company Affiliation Fusion Products

 

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