Our mission is empowering people who are blind or visually impaired with lifelong skills for safe and independent daily travel.
Founded by three Detroit area Lions Clubs members in 1939, Leader Dogs for the Blind provides dog guides to people who are blind and visually impaired to enhance their mobility, independence and quality of life. Each year, over 200 clients attend our residential training program to be paired with a dog guide. This is a life-changing event that opens the doors to independence, safety and self-worth for many of our students.
In addition to our dog guide program, we offer programs that enhance a person's independence and quality of life in other ways, including orientation and mobility training, GPS training, and seminars for Orientation and Mobility professionals. Currently, Leader Dog is the only facility in the Western Hemisphere to teach Deaf-blind students to work with a dog guide.
Thanks to generous donations from our supporters, our dog guide services are provided free of charge, including room and board and travel to and from our campus in Rochester Hills, Michigan, for clients.
Leader Dog is recognized as a "Best In America" Charity by the Independent Charities of America (ICA).
Leader Dogs for the Blind has a variety of volunteer positions available throughout the campus, off-campus giving presentations and at fundraisers and working with puppies and dogs of various ages as puppy raisers and host homes for members of the breeding colony. Whatever your personal strengths, Leader Dog can use you and take advantage of your expertise. I know visually impaired and blind volunteers and puppy raisers and host homes that have been volunteering with the organization from 20-45 years and more. They are particularly in need of foster puppy raisers throughout the United States for their 450-500 puppies in the program at any time. It is satisfying, fun and you have the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life. I'm currently working with my 16th puppy.