Leader Dogs for the Blind announced today that it has received a $100,000 matching grant from the Lions Club International Foundation to sponsor the advanced training bay in the new Leader Dog Canine Development Center.
The grant matches a donation to Leader Dog by the Lions clubs of District 11A-2 and will be used to help Leader Dog fulfill its mission of providing skills for a lifetime of independent daily travel to those who are blind, visually impaired and Deaf-Blind. To date, Lions Club District 11A-2 has contributed or pledged over $340,000 to the Canine Center. District 11A-2 includes Oakland and Macomb counties in Michigan.
“Internationally, Leader Dog and Lions share a joint mission to serve,” said Sue Daniels, president and CEO of Leader Dog. “This grant – and the funds the Lions clubs of District 11A-2 have raised for the Canine Center to date – is a testament to the Lions’ continued commitment to positively transforming the lives of our clients.”
The Canine Center will strengthen the training process of Leader Dogs, allowing them to develop the skills and characteristics necessary to handle the responsibility of being a guide dog. The new environment – including the advanced training bay – is designed to reduce stress, promote learning, increase socialization opportunities and support the overall health of the dogs, among other benefits.
Leader Dog receives no government funding and Lions clubs from across the U.S. are the single largest contributing group, with $2 million per year in support. Lions clubs are coming together with a goal to raise $3 million of the $14.5 million goal for the Canine Center and have raised $2.1 million to date.
“We are very proud to be part of the Leader Dog Canine Center project and Lions Clubs International Foundation, and the grant the district has given to Leader Dogs for the Blind,” said Tom Hill, District Governor 11A-2, 2014-2015.
To learn more about Leader Dogs for the Blind, visit www.leaderdog.org. For more information on the Canine Development Center and to donate, visit http://www.leaderdog.org/canine-center.