Mission, Vision and Goals
The Seeing Eye is a philanthropic organization whose mission is: To enhance the independence, dignity, and self-confidence of blind people through the use of Seeing Eye® dogs.
In pursuit of this mission, The Seeing Eye:
- Breeds and raises puppies to become Seeing Eye dogs (or obtains them occasionally by purchase or exchange);
- Trains Seeing Eye dogs to guide blind people;
- Instructs blind people in the proper use, handling, and care of the dogs;
- Conducts and supports research on canine health and development
The Seeing Eye’s vision is: To be recognized for sustained excellence and continuous improvement as the best guide dog school to attend and to support, as a donor, volunteer, puppy raiser, or employee.
Goal 1: To increase the independence and dignity of people who are blind, at all times treating applicants, students and graduates with respect.
- By instructing people in the use of Seeing Eye® dogs, we provide them with effective tools with which they can increase their mobility, independence and self-confidence. With greater independence comes a higher quality of life and enhanced employability.
- The philosophy of respect for the individual is the cornerstone of our institutional value system and is reflected in the way everyone on staff interacts with our students and graduates. For example, the Seeing Eye transfers ownership of the dog to the student upon graduation, a policy that is unique among all U.S. dog guide schools.
Goal 2: To provide the best dog guides possible by ensuring they are well bred and cared for, appropriately socialized, and expertly trained.
- The Seeing Eye has three specific departments devoted to enhancing the quality of its dogs: Canine Development (responsible for genetics, early puppy education, the puppy raising program, and the kennels); Canine Medicine & Surgery; and Instruction & Training.
- We have established the Jane H. Booker Chair in Canine Genetics, and our clinic has received accreditation from the American Animal Hospital Association. The Seeing Eye is world recognized for our selective breeding techniques and adoption of medical screening methods, which have brought improvements in the health of our dogs and increased chances of our puppies having the physical attributes, temperament and behavioral traits that enhance their likelihood of success as guides.
- Dogs spend a minimum of five months in formal training; four months with highly experienced instructors and the fifth month with their blind owners, under supervision of instructors.
Goal 3: To educate the public about the use of dog guides and the capabilities of people who are blind, and to provide recommendations regarding public policy issues.
- The Seeing Eye’s public relations staff regularly publishes informational brochures, newsletters and magazines to educate its donors and the general public about the benefits of partnering with a dog guide. Bi-weekly tours held at the Morristown campus are available to the public. In addition, companies, organizations, and other groups may email outreach@SeeingEye.org to request a presentation.
- The Seeing Eye Advocacy Council provides information regarding the rights of dog guide handlers in relation to employment, housing, and public access. The school monitors relevant legislation and works to influence the passage of state and local laws to protect the rights of all dog guide users.
Goal 4: To provide ongoing assistance to our graduates and their dogs in order to extend the life of each partnership.
- When a graduate encounters a training-related problem at home, requiring the expertise of highly experienced dog trainers, The Seeing Eye is only an email or phone call away. But if a problem cannot be resolved remotely, an instructor will travel to the graduate’s home to provide assistance. We respond to more than 3,900 phone calls and e-mails, and make hundreds of visits each year to assure the success of teams throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Goal 5: To practice fiduciary responsibility, ensuring that we can fulfill the future needs of Seeing Eye dog users.
- Over the course of their lives, many of our graduates will return for a successor dog five or six times. The Seeing Eye has always promised to be here as long as our graduates need a dog guide. That promise and the faith our graduates hold in us place a tremendous obligation on the school, both philosophically and financially.
- Thanks to the generosity of generations of Seeing Eye supporters, we are able to support our administrative and fundraising expenses through the earnings on our unrestricted financial reserves of $190 million, which are about 7 ½ times our annual expenses of $25 million. Thus, you can be sure that 100% of your contribution will be devoted to our programs, directly supporting the breeding and training of Seeing Eye® dogs and the instruction of our blind students.