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Learn about our different breeds!

Applicants

For the purpose of managing the high number of incoming applications Freedom does not provide an online application. If you are interested in applying for a guide dog, please call, (315) 822-5132. We are currently limited to serving the blind and visually impaired in the Northeastern US and some Southeastern states. The wait for obtaining a guide dog can take up to a year and  a half.

Freedom's kennel front, view with sign

Freedom Guide Dogs is a non-profit organization, located in Cassville, NY, that breeds, raises, trains and places guide dogs for the blind and visually impaired through Hometown TrainingTM.

Freedom Guide Dogs was founded in 1992 by husband & wife team Eric & Sharon Loori. As experienced guide dog trainers, they took their knowledge of a new home-based style of training and applied it to Labrador Retrievers.

Program

Traditional guide dog schools use a facility-based method of training where the blind person must go to the school for a 3-4 week period to train with a guide dog. When training is complete the blind student brings the guide dog home with them.

Hometown TrainingTM allows us to bring a trained guide dog directly to the blind person’s home where we train with them for 2-3 weeks in their own, familiar environment. This is all at no cost to the client.

This program has proven to be very successful. Today Freedom has more than 120 clients in ten states throughout the Northeast because of their Hometown TrainingTM program.

Puppy Enrichment center, side view with puppy yard and toys
Facility

Our state-of-the-art kennel facility has all the amenities to make our guide dogs as comfortable as possible and is efficiently structured for the training staff. Completed in 2004, the Training Center offers heated floors, individual drinking fountains, grooming room and barn curtain windows which allow for proper air circulation and also protection from inclement weather. There are also indoor and outdoor runs so the dogs can get plenty of exercise.

Our puppy enrichment center offers an array of tools to ensure a high level of growth and development during the first few weeks of puppy life. Equipped with heated floors and barn curtain windows (like the kennel), the Puppy Enrichment Center has ample space used for training and socializing the puppies. This is key in the early development stages for guide dogs. It will make for a better guide dog in the future.

Breeding

Freedom does its own breeding in order to produce quality, healthy dogs that will make excellent guides. Over the years Freedom has had the opportunity to work with several different breeds of dog.

Labrador Retriever: The Labrador is Freedom’s tried and true breed. They adapt well to various situations and are particularly well suited for people with special needs.
 
Smooth-Coated Collie: This herding breed is intelligent, easy going, even tempered and fairs well with other animals and people.
 
Standard Poodle: The Standard Poodle is very trainable and a very good thinker. Poodles also have the advantage of not shedding, creating a hypoallergenic alternative to other working breeds. The Standard Poodle is outgoing, but can also be very serious.
American White Shepherds: The AWS possesses a solid structure and all round good health.  They are intelligent and enthusiastic eaters who also demonstrate a strong work ethic while being responsive and adaptable to a variety of conditions.
 
Golden Retrievers: Goldens are friendly, energetic, dogs that live to please. This breed has been used for guide work and service dogs, as well as police helpers in narcotics training.
Barbets:  Barbets are French waterdogs.  They have a wooly, curly coat and like the poodle, they do not shed.  Their personality is described as companionable, joyful, goofy, obedient, and intelligent. They are quick to learn and great with children, families, and the elderly.  They are not currently recognized by the AKC.

Funding

Freedom receives its funding through foundations, organizations, corporations and individuals. If you would like to make a donation to Freedom Guide Dogs you can do so on our website by clicking on the “donate” button or send your donation to:

Freedom Guide Dogs, 1210 Hardscrabble Rd., Cassville, NY 13318

            BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Greg Jamrosz, DVM President, Veterinarian
Joanne Jamrosz Secretary, Director, Public Relations Practitioner
Sharon Loori Co-founder, Vice President, Treasurer, Animal Husbandry Manager
Eric O. Loori Co-founder, Executive Director
Mary Doughtery Blind Graduate Representative, Corp. Receptionist Central Assoc. of Blind and Visually Impaired.
Susan Blatt, MD Pediatrician, Author
John Kornegay, PhD Kaman Corporation (Retired), Capt. USNR (Ret)
Denise F. Luker Oneida County Sheriff’s Deputy
George Meyer Airline Pilot
Laurie Meyer Sales Associate, Consultant
William Koslosky, Esquire Attorney
Mary Kurdziolek Utica National Insurance Group
John Zogby International Political Pollster