Guiding Eyes Public Adoption Program
Interested in adopting one of our puppies or dogs who hasn’t gone on to become a guide dog, or been placed with another working dog organization? You’ve come to the right place!
Nearly 500 Guiding Eyes puppies are born each year, and our highly trained staff spends months getting to know our puppies and young adult dogs to make sure they’re suited for guide work. Just like people, dogs have different personalities and want different careers, and for some, that means becoming a pet!
These puppies and young adult or “career change” dogs are in high demand but are well worth the wait. Because we receive significantly more applications for adoption than we have dogs available, our selection and matching process is based on suitability rather than on a first-come, first-served basis. Dogs are matched in consideration of the needs of both the dog and the potential adopting home. All our dogs require a commitment from their adoptive families to spend the time, energy, and possible expense of addressing the individual dog’s issues in order to make the match work.
While they make excellent pets, they cannot be used as guide dogs, service animals, or have access privileges as emotional support animals.
What Kind of Dogs Are Available?
Adoptable Guiding Eyes dogs include male and female Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds that have been identified as not suited to guide work for a variety of conditions that can be medical or behavioral. They range in age from eight-week-old puppies to career change dogs between one and two years old. All adoptable dogs are microchipped and are up to date on age-appropriate vaccinations. Career change dogs have been spayed or neutered.
How much training do they have?
While the youngest adoptable puppies have not been trained, most of our career change dogs have a strong training foundation including socialization, house training and basic obedience. Like all dogs, they will require regular exercise and will benefit from additional training.
How Long is the Wait?
The wait time for adoption varies depending upon the adopter’s preferences as outlined in their adoption application. Generally, the more flexible adopters are regarding timing, age, gender, breed, and coat color, the shorter the wait. Because we receive significantly more applications for adoption than we have dogs available, our selection and matching process is based on suitability rather than on a first-come, first-served basis.
One exception is our priority adoption process. Guiding Eyes is a charity and relies 100% on donations to fulfill our mission of providing guide dogs to people who are blind. Supporters who make a charitable gift of $25,000 or more will be considered for priority adoption for career changed dogs 1-3 years old, which often results in reduced wait times.
Individuals committing to a donation of $7,500 or more can apply to priority adopt a Guiding Eyes puppy (8 weeks of age). For more information, please contact Rebekah Cross at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How Much is the Fee?
When a match is identified, adopters pay an adoption fee of $3,000 for a puppy or $4,000 for a career change dog. Many people give quite generously in return for our dogs, any amount over the adoption fee may be considered a charitable and tax-deductible contribution.
How Do I Apply for Adoption?
Complete the online application below. If you do not receive a call within a year, you will need to fill out another form annually.
If we have questions or need further information from you, we will contact you by phone. The volume of applications we receive does not permit responses to individual inquiries about the status of an application. We will contact you by phone if and when we have a puppy or dog that may be suitable for you. At that time, you’ll receive a detailed description of the dog.
For puppies, adopters are asked to commit over the phone. They then come to our Canine Development Center in Patterson, NY to complete the adoption process and take their puppy home. Puppy adopters are required to bring a crate for transportation.
For career change dogs, adopters come to our Yorktown Heights, NY headquarters to meet their dog, then complete the adoption process and take their dog home. You will be advised of the reason it was career changed from the program, what it was like in the puppy raising home, and what its current needs are (both medical and behavioral).
All adopters receive a Welcome Packet containing their dog’s medical history. All adopted puppies and dogs go home with their adopter the same day the adoption process is completed. All adopted puppies and dogs must be driven – not flown – to their new homes.
*These are special dogs, so as part of our program, we ask that adopters commit to keeping us up to date with their dog’s progress by completing an Adopters Health Survey each year.
Thank you for your interest in applying for a Guiding Eyes puppy. If your application to adopt a puppy is approved, you will receive a confirmation by email. When a puppy becomes available, we will contact you.