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
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
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
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
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
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
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.