2013 - The Year in Review

Published in: Update - Issue 1 - 2013 »     Listen to Article ♫
A male volunteer pets a reclining Leader Dog in training in the kennel

Improved the continuity of care for our dogs by changing our dog care team scheduling from location-based to dog-based so the dogs are cared for by the same people throughout the entire training process. We also enhanced our canine support program to allow our volunteers to have increased interaction with our dogs when they are being introduced to the kennel and throughout their formal training.

Established In-For-Training standards for all puppies in our puppy raising program. The standards help our puppy raisers raise their puppies to achieve behaviors expected when they return to Leader Dog for training. The data collected will also help us correlate the puppy's behavior upon return with graduation success.

Client Ozella Tate kneels with her black Lab Leader Dog, Josie

Ozella Tate and her Leader Dog, Josie

Implemented a Voice of the Client program to track client satisfaction and provide feedback for continuous quality improvement. Also improved the follow-up services we provide to clients in their home environment by utilizing qualified guide dog mobility instructors who are contractors, allowing us to improve our response time when a client contacts us needing assistance.

Began using a new model for scheduling Accelerated Mobility Program clients that allows us to service more clients without adding staff.

Procured a donation of dog food from Purina to support the puppies being raised in our Iowa prison program. Purina even delivers the food for free!


Our Veterinary Department

Doctor Smith leans close to a yellow Lab to examine its eyes
  • 501 dog spay/neuters
  • 538 entry/training exams
  • 44 specialized dental procedures
  • 966 breeding/puppy program exams
  • 1,491 procedures done under anesthesia
  • 983 hours served by volunteers (veterinarians, vet techs, assistants and records)

Increased our use of volunteers to transport clients and their Leader Dogs to/from the airport from 10% to 100%. This has provided moretime for our Guide Dog Mobility Instructors, who used to be in charge of transport, to work with clients and their dogs.

Instructor Sue Hackman stands behind her group of four clients, who are seated on chairs

Our Training and Client Services Departments

  • Certified a new Guide Dog Mobility Instructor (GDMI) for our Deaf-Blind program
  • Trained 205 guide dog teams
  • Trained five Deaf-Blind guide dog teams
  • Trained 51 accelerated mobility clients
  • Hosted 20 teens at summer camp
  • Supported 435 clients in their homes with follow-up services
  • Completed 200 potential client in-home visits

Established standard breeding criteria for selection and inclusion of dogs in the breeding program, and welcomed 519 new puppies from our breeding stock of 80 moms and 16 dads.