Guide Dogs for the Blind empowers lives by creating exceptional partnerships between people, dogs, and communities.
Texas is the second most populated state in the country and is the second fastest growing state with an overall state population growth of 10.81%. It is also home to two of the fastest growing U.S. metroplexes, Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth.
Texas also has the second the largest number of blind or visually impaired in the country (669,879 individuals). While California has seen a 2.6% decline in the number of visually impaired individuals over the past two year, Texas has seen a dramatic increase by 5.7%. Seniors represent 65% of this population and the number of seniors in Texas is expected to double in the next 10 years. Further, many of these individuals are living on limited incomes and are reliant on free services for Orientation and Mobility instruction, skills training and/or guide dog training.
As demand for its services increases in Texas, GDB has attracted a growing numbers of clients in the state. Texas graduates now represent the third largest group of clients for GDB. However, despite our best efforts, we are only serving .04% of the total population of blind or visually impaired individuals in Texas. With broader awareness in Texas and continued expansion of our programs, we believe the number of clients who access our services will continue to increase.
Currently there are 275 active working teams (guide dog user and their guide dog) in Texas. These teams are organized under the state alumni chapter.
In 2010, the first puppy club, The Lone Star Guide Dog Raisers, was formed in Dallas - starting with six puppies and six families. Today, there are 15 puppy clubs strategically located around Texas. In the last year alone, GBD has increased the number of puppies raised in Texas by 74% to a total of 210 puppies. In addition, we have increased our puppy raising activity by 129% to a record level of 248 raisers. Texas now represents 10% of our national volunteer pool of raisers and 10% of all our puppies are being raised by a Texans.
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