Guide Dog Graduates

July 27, 2020

Fromm Family Food is helping guide dog and service dog graduates from Southeastern Guide Dogs receive premium dog food free of charge through Southern Guide Dogs’ Alumni Support program.

In addition Elanco, veterinary practices and individual donors are providing monthly preventatives, vaccinations and yearly wellness visits to graduates free of charge. The contributions are saving guide and service dog handlers an estimated $1,000-plus out-of-pocket per year, according to Southeastern Guide Dogs officials.

“We are deeply grateful to Fromm, Elanco, the veterinarians and private donors who are making it possible to offer these benefits to nearly 600 alumni,” said Titus Herman, CEO of Southern Guide Dogs. “The people we serve tend to experience a high level of unemployment and limited, fixed incomes, so these benefits are making a significant difference in the quality of their lives.”

For more than 35 years, Southeastern Guide Dogs in Palmetto, Fla., has provided guide and service dogs free of charge to people with visual impairments and veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other disabilities, thanks to the generosity of private donations

Bryan Nieman, brand director of Fromm Family Food, noted that the company is impressed with—and deeply respectful of—the work of Southeastern Guide Dogs and the impact the organization has on the lives of graduates.

“As a fifth generation family-owned-and-operated company, we appreciate the joy, freedom, and companionship these dogs provide their caregivers,” Nieman said. “Our commitment to excellence and unsurpassed quality is mirrored in the Southeastern Guide Dogs Organization, and we are proud to partner with them in the Alumni Support Program.”

Guide dog graduate Rachel Weeks has first-hand experience caring for her guide dog, Plum, and a personal understanding of the value and impact of this new set of alumni benefits. She is applying her knowledge to overseeing the administration of the program at Southeastern Guide Dogs.

“This is an amazing gift,” Weeks said. “I know exactly what it is like to walk into the vet office hoping the bill will not derail my budget. It is important to put food on the table for a family and also imperative for Plum and other dogs like her to receive top-of-the-line care. Our graduates can now go forward confidently to the highest level of independence and freedom.”

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