Shelters and rescues always have challenges finding homes for the dogs in their care. If a dog has vision problems – from blindness to partial sight – it’s even more of a challenge to find them a home.
But thanks to the Philadelphia-headquartered Blind Dog Rescue Alliance, the future is bright for more than 250 (and counting) pups helped by this non-profit group since 2009.
BDRA is an Internet-based rescue group with a network of 150 volunteers spanning the United States and Canada. These folks regularly contact shelters across the country to see if any blind or visually impaired dogs need help. As BDRA grows, more and more owners unable to keep their sight-challenged dogs reach out for help, as do clinics and others involved with the dog-rescue world.
“Blind dogs are as special as any other dog,” says Steven Marsh of Whiting, NJ, volunteer coordinator and member of the board of directors. He has been with BDRA since its inception. “They show us how courageous they can be in difficult situations. They show us that love is unconditional. Once we can overlook the fact that there is a vision problem, these dogs make great pets. They show us that blind dogs truly see with their hearts.”
All of the dogs rescued by BDRA are housed in volunteers’ homes. They are trained, socialized, loved and given proper medical care. Marsh explains that while it is difficult to temporarily foster a dog and then say goodbye—as he has many times—it’s worth it to see the dog go to a forever home.
“We can save another dog if we foster and adopt, and repeat,” says Marsh, owner of five dogs, many with vision problems.
BDRA adopters come from all over the world, and many of them have loved sight-challenged dogs before or feel a connection with these courageous pups.
“We want to make sure that our dogs are being placed in homes that are the best fit for an individual dog – not just first come, first serve,” Marsh says.
As with most rescue groups, BDRA is a volunteer-based organization and relies on donations to help with the care and medical issues faced by the 30-40 dogs in the group at any one time.
“Every little bit helps,” says Marsh.
To learn more about the Blind Dog Rescue Alliance, click here>>
The efforts of Blind Dog Rescue Alliance to aid and rescue dogs inspired FreeKibble.com, a website dedicated to providing nutritious food to shelter animals, to donate 5,000 meals to BDRA.