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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Charity Navigator's Top 10 Tuesday: Best Dog Charities


Charity Navigator is kicking off a new weekly series--Top 10 Tuesday--intended to connect you with charities you might not know of that are serving the causes you are passionate about. Is there something you’d like us to cover? Leave a comment and we’ll do our best to include it.

The age old debate continues on--dogs versus cats--thus with the flip of a coin we begin our series with… dogs. Man’s best friend. From loyal companions to trusty aids, dogs have won a place in many of our hearts.

Today we’re sharing a list of the Top 10 dog charities currently evaluated by Charity Navigator. The list was curated by highest total rating points from charities’ most recent evaluations. Love dogs? Consider supporting one of these outstanding organizations.

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Improving the quality of life for blind people

The Israel Guide Dog Center for the Blind began operations on January 1, 1991 with just one objective -- to help blind people in Israel to achieve independence and mobility through the use of guide dogs. The mission of the Israel Guide Dog Center for the Blind is to improve the quality of life of blind people by providing them with safe mobility, independence and self-confidence through the faithful assistance of guide dogs. Israel has over 24,000 registered blind people, although unofficial estimates place this figure much higher. Of these, about 250 are guide dog assisted, but this number is growing steadily as the number of graduates from the Center increases annually.

In 2013 we formalized our Special Needs Companion program, where we give dogs that are not selected for guide dog training to people in need. Our largest group are children with autism, followed by soldiers with PTSD, children with blindness, or others with Special Needs. All of our dogs go on to help someone!

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Share the vision

Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation works to breed and train high quality German shepherds for use in guiding the blind, for police work, and placement of these dogs with their blind partners. Since its beginning in 1960, this organization has reached out and touched thousands of clients' and family members' lives. Today, Fidelco is an internationally-recognized leader in the guide dog industry. The Fidelco German shepherd was created from Bavarian stock. It is an outstanding and exclusive product of selective breeding from strong working lines and has evolved to be truly a breed within a breed. Our dogs possess the characteristics of the ideal working guide: intelligence, temperament, stamina and stability.


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Rescuing dogs - enhancing lives

Established in 1977, Dogs for Better Lives (formerly Dogs for the Deaf) is a national non-profit organization that rescues, trains and places dogs with people who have different disabilities and needs throughout the United States. Hearing Dogs, Autism Assistance Dogs, Program Assistance Dogs (dogs that work with teachers, counselors, and physicians), and Career Change Dogs are free to clients after a $50 application fee and refundable deposit. 

Out of town visitors and local residents can visit and learn more about Dogs for Better Lives by taking a free tour of the facility weekdays at 11 a.m. or 1 p.m. The address is 10175 Wheeler Road, Central Point, Ore., 97502. For more information visit www.dogsforbetterlives.org or call 1-800-990-DOGS (3647).

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Extraordinary dogs, transforming lives

Southeastern Guide Dogs transforms lives by creating and nurturing extraordinary partnerships between people and dogs. Employing the latest in canine development and behavior research, the national organization trains guide dogs, service dogs and companion dogs for people living with significant challenges including those with visual impairments and veterans with disabilities.

All of Southeastern Guide Dogs' services - which include selective breeding and expert dog training; comprehensive on-campus student instruction; and lifetime graduate follow-up - are provided at no cost to the recipients. The charity relies 100% on private donations and receives no government funding. Southeastern Guide Dogs has the distinction of being dually accredited by the two premier, global accreditation bodies: the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International. www.GuideDogs.org

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Be part of the search

The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF) was founded in 1996. Our mission is to strengthen disaster response in America by recruiting rescued dogs and partnering them with firefighters and other first responders to find people buried alive in the wreckage of disasters. We offer the professionally trained canines and an ongoing training program at no cost to fire departments. And we ensure lifetime care for every dog in our program: once rescued, these dogs never need to be rescued again. There are currently 73 SDF-trained Search Teams across the country, located in California, Florida, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, Nebraska, Utah and Baja California. Thanks to Mutual Aid Agreements between counties, cities and states, these precious, life-saving resources can be shared regionally and nationally.

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Using our power of partnering to improve quality of life

Guide Dogs for the Blind provides enhanced mobility to qualified individuals through partnership with dogs whose unique skills are developed and nurtured by dedicated volunteers and a professional staff. Established in 1942, Guide Dogs for the Blind continues its dedication to quality student training services and extensive follow-up support for graduates. As the largest school serving the United States and Canada, we are able to provide highly personalized training, free of charge. The team spends up to 14 days learning to work together in a variety of real-life situations. The students learn to work their dogs in stores, restaurants and malls, and on all forms of public transportation. The class training is conducted by our licensed Guide Dog mobility instructors.


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Providing independence, comfort and companionship to those are deaf or have a physical disability

NEADS (National Education for Assistance Dog Services), also known as Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans, was established in 1976 to train and provide independence to people who are deaf or physically disabled through the use of canine assistance. These Assistance Dogs become an extension of their owners and bring security, freedom, independence and relief from social isolation to their human partners. NEADS trains all breeds and mixed breeds of dogs to help people who are deaf or physically disabled live more independently. NEADS has trained well over 1500 Assistance Dog teams from all states since 1976. Each year we train over 50 teams and hold two graduation ceremonies per year to mark the occasions.

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Serving the blind community since 1948

Guide Dogs of America, founded in 1948 under the name International Guiding Eyes, is dedicated to providing guide dogs and instruction in their use, free of charge, to blind and visually impaired men and women from the United States and Canada so that they may continue to pursue their goals with increased mobility and independence. Guide Dogs of America has three primary programs: the breeding program, the puppy raising program, and the guide dog team training program. We also provide advocacy services, training follow-up, and veterinary care at our on-campus clinic, free of charge, for the lifetime of our guide dog teams. Additionally, we offer public education through our web site, tour and speaker programs, and by providing information upon request to help educate businesses or individuals about access laws and guide dogs.

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Improving the quality of life for people who are blind, visually impaired, or with other special needs

Since 1946, the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind has provided guide dogs free of charge to blind people who seek enhanced mobility and independence. Our students come to us from all over the United States and many foreign countries. Our trademark small classes and individualized instruction often attract students who may have special requirements. We have successfully trained hearing-impaired blind people as well as many physically challenged people. In addition to providing Second Sight through the use of our guide dogs, the Guide Dog Foundation offers extensive public education vehicles to broaden society's understanding of vision, visual impairment, blindness, and disability rights.


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Enhancing the lives of the blind and visually impact individuals

Founded in 1939, Leader Dogs for the Blind provides dog guides to people who are blind or visually impaired to enhance their mobility, independence and quality of life. Each year, over 270 students attend our 26-day residential training program to be paired with a dog guide. This is a life-changing event that opens the doors to independence, safety and self-worth for many of our students. In addition to our dog guide program, we offer programs that enhance a person's independence and quality of life in other ways, including orientation and mobility training, Trekker training, and seminars for Orientation and Mobility professionals. Currently, Leader Dog is the only facility in the Western Hemisphere to teach Deaf-blind students to work with a dog guide.

Don't forget to leave and a comment to tell us what you'd like to see in one of our Top 10 Tuesday lists!

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