Guide Dog Foundation & America's VetDogs

Cause Area

  • Animals
  • Community
  • People with Disabilities
  • Veterans & Military Families


371 East Jericho TurnpikeSmithtown, NY 11787 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

To improve the quality of life of people who are blind, visually impaired, or who have other special needs.


Guide Dog Foundation strives to be the leading resource and provider of premier services to facilitate the independence of people who are blind or visually impaired. The Guide Dog Foundation also plans to be the standard by which the military and the VA measure assistance dog providers, and America's VetDogs (VetDogs) is our way of recognizing the sacrifice made by our men and women in uniform.


Would you recommend Guide Dog Foundation & America's VetDogs?
10 reviews Write a review
by Julia D. from Pensacola, FL (March 9, 2020)
It seems like a great opportunity to help animals in need.
by Susan and W. from Bel Air, MD (May 17, 2019)
America’s VetDogs is an amazing organization with lots of integral parts focused towards providing independence and enhancement in the lives of disabled veterans, through trained service dogs. After learning of their mission, reading personal stories from veterans as to how these service dogs changed their lives for the better, I knew this was an organization that I wanted to be a part of and support. I was excited to hear that America’s VetDogs annual Maryland Run and Dog Walk would be held at the Avenue at White Marsh on April 28, 2019. Upon arriving to help with packet distribution and set up day, I found their dedicated and experienced staff to be extremely welcoming and appreciative of the volunteers. They made us feel like we were an important part of the event team this day, and on event day as well. I came away feeling I made many new friends, & proud to be a volunteer for an organization helping disabled vets live a life without boundaries. Can't wait 'til next year!
by Brandy W. (May 16, 2019)
I had the opportunity to volunteer during the AVD’s run/walk event held in MD. My experience was beyond positive. I have volunteered at many events of all sizes (for various org.), and I was impressed with the way this event was managed given the size, the rain and the fact that it was at a new location. The coordinators were incredibly nice and welcoming. With any event this size, there are obstacles, and the coordinators remained fluid, professional and had a solution for everything. You could tell a lot of coordination/ prep. went into this event before we showed up. I can honestly say that I had a blast while working, and I met some great people and dogs. I learned more about the organization through incredibly awesome Veterans and volunteers. The product of this program provides Veterans with the will to want to live, experience and face life again. Caring for Vets and adding dogs- yeah, this was an instant match for me. I appreciate the opportunity to volunteer.
by Cate L. (May 13, 2019)
I started as a puppy sitter for the Guide Dog Foundation and America's Vet Dogs in March 2017. The organization was very welcoming and fun to work with so I began raising my first puppy that August at UMD. All of the volunteers and employees in the National Capital region form an amazing community and when any opportunity arises to further volunteer for the organizations I jump on it. I was very excited to volunteer at America's Vet Dogs Race 4 Vets in 2018 on Kent Island. They had plenty of volunteers that year, but they found me something to do and the event went very well. I enjoyed it so much that I contacted Vet Dogs about volunteering at this year's race too and they were very accommodating to whatever I wanted to do. The size of this race was larger than in previous years and I think they handled it well. I worked with different volunteers than I do through puppy raising and they were all great to work with. AVD and GDF are both wonderful organizations to volunteer for!
by Pat N. from Falling Waters, WV (May 10, 2019)
As a former puppy raiser for a different service dog non-profit, I am very familiar with the extraordinary assistance these dogs provide.  As the wife of a disabled veteran, I know the value of emotional and/or physical support.  Believing America's VetDogs was the best of both worlds, I began volunteering at their annual Maryland fundraising event in 2013 (a several hour drive away), and have never been disappointed.  I have always been welcomed with open arms, felt thoroughly appreciated, and have totally enjoyed every minute I've been able to help.  My only regret is that I can't do much more than this event due to my proximity to their New York location.  If patience, good nature and eagerness are your virtues, this is certainly one for you to strongly consider.
by Kimberlee M. (May 1, 2019)
As a former volunteer Firefighter and EMT, but a lifetime lover of dogs, I jumped at the opportunity to volunteer when I found America’s VetDogs. America’s VetDogs was so welcoming and positive when I began volunteering that I couldn't wait to be involved in every opportunity that presented itself. Everyone within the organization has been so kind and helpful, appreciative and upbeat, you can't help but want to be around and give as much as you can as a volunteer. All of their events run seamlessly, and while things may get chaotic (as often happens when a lot of people, animals, and activity happen) it is always successful and rewarding. I have volunteered at: reception, Taxi Team, kennel, puppy pens, puppy testing, and events. As a volunteer at an event, there are so many different tasks where you can help make their organization run better, and I am so happy to be a part of it. America’s VetDogs employees are so grateful to any and ALL volunteers. I have met so many great people
by Debra B. (April 29, 2019)
I love volunteering, but have never been so shabbily treated by event organizers. This website generated a half-dozen new volunteers for the 5k walk/run in Baltimore. Thought the organizers were overwhelmed by the new people, later it was apparent that they only wanted to work with new volunteers on the first day for set-up, and with prior-year volunteers on the actual event day. They didn't provide name badges to the new crew or bother to remember their names, did not have any assigned tasks for them on the second day, and then said we could go home after the event without a thank-you or reminder to stay for the scheduled BBQ. One coordinator kept making snide comments about the other coordinator, and we were told to hand out sponsor bags only to the runners, not the walkers who paid $40 to participate (perhaps the sponsor was back-charging them for the bags?). There are many great organizations out there who want new volunteers, this is definitely not one of them.
by Erin S. (January 13, 2016)
I have been volunteering as a weekend puppy raiser with Americas Vetdogs since 2014. It is easily the most rewarding volunteer experience I have ever done. I selfishly love having a puppy in my home on the weekends, and I have been able to watch 1, and soon a second, puppy grown into a very well trained service dog for a wounded veteran. I was so incredibly proud to see my first dog graduate and be matched with his veteran handler. There is such flexibility as a weekend raiser that I am very confident that I will continue to volunteer in the future.
by Elaine L. from Wellesley, MA (July 26, 2012)
I have had two assistance dogs, which are distinguished from guide dogs by their skills in helping with mobility. The benefits of a service dog, a guide dog, an assistance dog, a hearing dog, a seizure alert dog or any dog that helps keep a person with a disability maintain safety is good sense, good healthcare and just plain smart! I just lost my assistance dog to cancer after I provided increasingly complex nursing care for him over the course of nearly a year. We, persons with disabilities because of sight, mobility, hearing, or post traumatic stress need service dogs - we need you to help us be more independent. We will in turn be ambassadors for all the persons with disability who come after us. They will have an easier road because of what you have contributed in volunteer time, money, or just information that is accurate, preserves our dignity by calling us persons first before any health label, and well intentioned. Service dogs, all service dogs save lives!
by Sasha T. from Riverhead, NY (September 27, 2010)
I think everyone with special needs should have the same opportunities as people without special needs. Dogs are amazing creatures and if they can have a job thats great for the dog and the person they are helping.

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