Monday, August 29, 2011

September is National Guide Dog Month- Please Help!

If you didn't know, September is National Guide Dog Month here in the United States. It's a time to honor the incredible canine heroes who provide life-changing independence to their human partners. Having worked in the pet industry now over 15 years, I have met many a guide dog. It wasn't until I got involved with a local Guide Dog school here in Palm Springs that I learned just how incredible guide dog programs can be. First of all, a guide dog is provided to a blind person absolutely free of charge, yet it costs the school over $40,000 and takes two years to train a single guide dog. I was still working at PETCO when Natural Balance first started a guide dog program to raise money for accredited, non-profit guide dog schools across the country. With the help of the PETCO Foundation and PETCO stores, the annual fundraisers have been helping to fund schools to provide more guide dogs to blind Americans.

You may be surprised to learn that every seven minutes someone in America becomes blind or visually impaired. Blindness can affect anyone- young, old, moms, teens, brothers, sisters, even members of our military and veterans who lost their sight during active duty. If you ever see a blind person with a guide dog, take a moment to watch them closely. You'll be fascinated by the trust the person places in their guide dog and how much they can do with their guide dog.

Guide Dogs can be trained for just about any task, to meet the lifestyle needs of the person. These dogs are truly heroes, and represent some of the best in human-canine bonds I've known. 

Guide Dog schools are funded by private donations, companies and ordinary citizens who want to help. That's why my employer, Natural Balance Pet Foods and PETCO have teamed up once again to support National Guide Dog Month. Our goal is to raise $1 million this month, but we need YOU.  
Here's how you can help:
Visit any PETCO store now through September 24th and make a donation at the register in any amount. If you donate $20 or more you'll get this nifty lapel pin in Petco stores. 
Or DONATE ONLINE NOW, at its FAST AND EASY. With any online donation of $20 or more you'll get this free plush guide dog, isn't he cute? Want to hear something cool? Last year a few of us used facebook and Twitter spread the word to our own friends about the online donation option at and it helped drive online donations a lot. So I'm asking for your help to share this with your own friends, repost and re-tweet the cause and the online donation page.

Our goal is to raise $1 million this September so we have our work cut out for us. Won't you help? Even a small donation from everyone you know can make a difference.
Check out this video from our spokespersons from CSI: Miami, Omar Miller and Eva LaRue and our founder Dick Van Patten:


Diane J Standiford said...

Michigan has a wonderful program too. Such a worthy cause. Thank you.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

A very very worthy cause--And I want to donate to it Rick, but I don't want to do it through PETCO. Do you have another suggestion? Is there an address I can send my donation to that does NOT involve PETCO?
Do let me know, if that is possible, my dear.

I LOVE this program and feel the deep importance of it....!

Anonymous said...

Missing me some Ricky posts...



Palm Springs Savant said...

Naomi- Sure, I'll contact you directly, its no problem at all. Thanks!

snowelf said...

Awww! He IS cute! I love, LOVE LOVE the guide dog program. Rick, it's so awesome you are promoting this. :)



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