FAQ'S: Guide Dog Adoptions & Donations

Q: How do I go about adopting a "washed out" guide dog, and how long does it take to do so?

A: To be considered for the adoption program you will first be asked to make a reasonable donation to the Guide Dog School that you choose. This can be between $500 to $1,000 or more. Then you will be placed on a waiting list which can take as long as five years before you get a dog. Please do not send us your questions about this program because we just don't have enough staff to answer all of them. If you want to adopt a guide dog that didn't make it, then you will need to contact one of the schools directly that are listed on the "Guide Dog Schools" section at this site.

Q: How do I go about donating my dog to one of the schools?

A: Well unfortunately in most circumstances you're probably not going to be able to do so. The majority of Guide Dog schools now have a very selective breeding programs and do not accept donated dogs anymore. However, if you still want to try to donate your dog, we suggest that you contact one of the schools listed at our Guide Dog Schools page, and see what they say. Please do not contact us with your questions about this as we cannot speak for these various organizations since each school has their own set policy.

Q: What happens to these puppies that get trained, but do not graduate and consequently do not move on to being a guide dog?

A: The dogs that are removed from the Guide Dog program for any reason are called "Career Change Dogs". In most cases, the "Puppy Raiser" volunteer is then given the first option to adopt the Career Change Dog, but if the puppy raiser does not wish to keep the dog, it would then be offered to various other service organizations (C.C.I., Dogs for the Deaf, Etc.), or as in some cases the local law enforcement agencies. If the following options do not work, the dog in question is then put up for adoption to the general public, the waiting list for this is now up to 5 years. If you need more details on the guide dog adoption program, for a particular school, then please visit The Puppy Place's "Guide Dog Schools", page and contact the organization closest to your home.

Q: How old are these dogs that don't make it through the program?

A: That depends. Usually a puppy that washes out of the guide dog program can be between 18 to 24 months old. Sometimes their younger and sometimes they can be older to.

Q: Do the school's continue to cover the dog's cost if it washes out of the program?

A: No. School's do not cover the costs of the dog once it washes out of the guide dog program. The only costs that the schools cover are for the puppy raising period and during the dog's formal training.

Q: Do these dogs make good pets even though they didn't make it through the program?

A: To the best of our knowledge, yes they do. Even though you have to realize that the "bond" between you and this dog will never be as strong as it was with the original puppy raiser or trainer, but you would be adopting a dog that most likely has been trained to learn over 40+ commands and has excellent manners.

Q: Very Interesting. So how do I adopt one of these dogs?

A: What you will need to do is contact the guide or service dog school that is closest to you and ask them what their specific requirements are to do so. At The Puppy Place you can go to our Guide Dog Schools page and find the address and phone number of the organization near your home. Also please note that the school may ask for a small donation in return for adopting one of their dogs that didn't make it. We personally feel that this is not asking for much when you consider that all guide dog schools are non-profit, and rely entirely on public support.

Q: Is there a long waiting list to adopt these dogs?

A: Again, that depends on the school. As with all waiting lists some people get impatient and lose interest, when this happens and they're removed from the list, you would move up even closer. Also, don't forget that most schools also have retired guide dogs that are put up for adoption to. Either way you are still getting a fine well mannered dog in return.

We hope this helps answers some of your questions concerning the donation and adoptions of guide dogs.
For more information on doing this, please contact the school closest to you and ask more about this program.
We hope that you'll take the time out to explore the rest of The Puppy Place to learn more about Seeing Eye & Guide Dogs and their purposes. Please use our site map to help you on your journey.

Do you have additional questions or comments?
Then please post them on our message board.

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