Executive Director Message

Executive Director Message – June 2017

Sarah Clapp and Palmer

The fiscal year is coming to a close Guide Dogs of the Desert and, thanks to you, YOUR generosity made it possible to reach and exceed our goals.  Your gifts made a significant difference in the following areas:

Breeding Department– 60 healthy puppies born and being raised; 7 dogs donated to the program with the majority being breeding age, increasing the depth and healthy of the colony

Puppy Department– Initiated regularly scheduled Puppy Obedience Classes; Avi-mark computer software to maintain thorough canine files from birth through retirement.

Training Department– offered a "refresher course" for current guide dog teams to sharpen working skills and address issues; addition of Nick Terrones, new Director of Training and Field Services; Apprentice Trainers advancing through their apprenticeships; 2017 Prius for traffic training; reduced applicant waiting list to less than one year; rotating Agency visits to encourage more applicants

Facilities/Operations – initiated Solar Panel project, due to be completed June 30; the construction and retrofit of the Doyle Wellness Center and Puppy Development Center is also expected to be complete by June 30; completed upgrades to the dorm rooms with enhanced internet service, flat screen TVs in each room, fresh linens; painted interior and exterior of buildings; installed donor recognition in the Auditorium.


In addition, your generosity helped us perform hundreds of hours of general canine medical care, as well as emergency operations to keep our dogs healthy, active and in service.  We are indebted to YOU – our FRIENDS – for your confidence in this organization that turns puppies into guide dogs for the blind and visually impaired. 


As we plan for the FY 2018, and encouraged by your increased trust, interest and support, it is planned to increase the Training Staff with two additional Apprentice Trainers, add a new Canine Training Van, produce 70 puppies for the program, and graduate 30 client/guide dog teams.  The Board of Director's are fully engaged and enthusiastic about the anticipated growth for the coming year.


Thank you for all you made possible.  We extend our best wishes for a relaxing summer.

Sarah Clapp
Executive Director

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