Message from the President
Project Planning Underway
Now that 2013 is here, I want to share an exciting project we started in 2012 that will be a major focus for Leader Dog for several years—a kennel redesign.
Over the past year, we have been developing a plan to improve our kennel facility. This project is driven by the need to improve our dogs' training experience, which will allow us to continue to improve the quality of the Leader Dogs we provide to our clients. Our current kennel is outdated and needs larger spaces for humandog interaction, bigger stalls that allow our dogs more movement, veterinary and breeding areas designed to accommodate our large number of dogs, and an improved HVAC system.
In May 2012 we partnered with Animal Arts, an architectural design firm specializing in animal care facility design, to develop a proposed kennel redesign plan. Next, we completed a planning study to assess our ability to conduct a capital campaign to fund the redesign. The purpose of the study was to test and evaluate overall perceptions of the proposed plan, estimate the total scope and cost of the renovation, and assess the potential financial and leadership support for the project. Leader Dog team members, volunteers, Lions, clients, donors, board members and the external community participated in the study.
The study results show that there is an above average level of support for the project! Respondents had a very positive view of Leader Dog and 89% were willing to consider a gift to a kennel redesign campaign. The majority of participants felt Leader Dog should conduct a campaign to raise money to renovate the kennel and 25% were willing to accept a leadership role. Based on the collective responses from the study, we believe a preliminary fundraising goal for this project is challenging yet very attainable—which is great news for our dogs and our clients!
Based on the findings of the study, our next step is to determine a realistic project scope and to decide how best to move this effort forward in 2013. We are very excited and will keep you updated on the progress of the campaign as decisions are made… so stay tuned.
Thank you again for your continued support of Leader Dogs for the Blind. I wish each of you a safe, healthy and Happy New Year!
Susan M. Daniels