Donors Support Next Generation of Professionals

By Kathryn Tuck

Published in: Update - Issue 1 - 2015 »   
Female vet student leans over golden retriever puppy lying on exam table

Michigan State University veterinary student Ashley
Fijal gives a golden retriever puppy an exam prior to
him being placed with a puppy raiser.

In 2012, Leader Dogs for the Blind launched the nation’s first Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Internship Academy with both grant and endowment support from the Edward T. and Ellen K. Dryer Foundation.

In the summer of 2014, the Patterson Foundation further supported the Dryer Orientation and Mobility Internship Academy, as well as a new grant initiative to provide housing, meals and educational opportunities to veterinary (DVM) and veterinary tech (DVT) students completing their externship with Leader Dog.

While a world-renowned veterinary medicine program is located about 100 miles away from Leader Dog at Michigan State University (MSU) in East Lansing, many of the students studying at MSU are from around the country and require housing assistance to complete their three to four week externship rotation. Furthermore, Leader Dog has accepted externs from 13 other schools across the country. The Patterson Foundation, which supports a variety of medical, veterinary and vocational rehabilitation programs involving collaborative efforts by students and nonprofits in the community, shared our vision to facilitate well-developed practitioner internships/externships for aspiring O&M, veterinary and vet tech professionals.

Male vet student stands facing camera, smiling and holding a yellow newborn puppy

Veterinary student Mac Kendall from University of
Tennessee poses with a new puppy after assisting
with a cesarean section at Leader Dog.

Leader Dog continues to seek partnerships with foundations that support our unique opportunities to facilitate internships, externships and apprenticeships in a variety of program areas. For more information on how your foundation can support the next generation of professionals, please contact Kathryn Tuck, director of foundation giving, at