Message from the President
Excitement is Building for Our Future
Now that spring has sprung, one can’t help but think about what comes next: summer—warmer weather, construction and the possibility of treacherous road conditions. Safety and safe travel have always been priorities here at Leader Dogs for the Blind, and that priority certainly extends to our valued clients and their Leader Dogs.
In today’s world, our clients need Leader Dogs that aren’t just obedient but that can actually think and make life or death decisions. The level of training needed to produce this caliber of dog begins in our kennel, where our future Leader Dogs and best training practices come together. The ongoing improvement of our services is paramount to achieving our mission, and the redesign of our kennel will provide the optimal environment for housing Leader Dogs in training while they learn their life-saving work. This is why we are so excited about our new Canine Development Center!
We know that a dog’s environment has a huge impact on its ability to develop the skills and characteristics necessary to handle this responsibility. Stress and anxiety, which can be common in the kennel atmosphere, interfere with a dog’s ability to learn and maintain a calm disposition. It is with this in mind that we have developed plans to redesign our kennel facility into a top-level Canine Development Center.
Sixty-eight percent (68%) of the kennel will be renovated, 20% will be demolished and rebuilt, and 12% will remain as it is. Every aspect of the redesign, including increased capacity, a specialized breeding area and larger suites, will have a positive impact on the health, well-being and training of future Leader Dogs. Our goal is to develop the ideal environment for our dogs; one that reduces stress, provides greater socialization, maximizes human interaction and best prepares Leader Dogs for their remarkable work.
From a brick and mortar perspective, we finalized plans for our Canine Development Center in 2014 and we broke ground! We launched our capital campaign and have made significant progress toward our funding goal (the Canine Development Center will be highlighted in the next issue of Update).
I hope you enjoy this issue of Update and reading about the ongoing progress of our Canine Development Center. Enjoy your spring and summer and thank you for your support at this very meaningful time.
Susan M. Daniels
President and CEO