Our History

Guide Dogs of the Desert founder, Bud Maynard is sitting on the ground outdoors. You can see Green grassy hills behind him. There are two dogs in the photo. On the right is a golden retriever in a guide dog harness and on the left is a dark toned German shepherd, also in a guide dog harness. He has his arms around each dog and they are facing towards the camera.
Guide Dogs of the Desert was founded in 1972 by Bud Maynard, with a mission to provide quality guide dogs to the blind and the blind with special needs.  With the help of the Cathedral City Lions Club and Canyon Country Club members, Guide Dogs of the Desert was incorporated and licensed under California State Law and the Department of Consumer Affairs.

Since 1972, Guide Dogs of the Desert has worked to connect people in need with the tools they require for success.  From a simple ranch house in the desert, Guide Dogs of the Desert has grown into an internationally respected school, housing and training up to 25 clients and custom-trained guide dogs each year.  More than 1,300 client/dog teams have graduated from Guide Dogs of the Desert in its 45+ years of service.  The client incurs NO COST to receive and train with a guide dog.

Guide Dogs of the Desert’s 6-acre campus includes a 12-bedroom dormitory, complete with a common area for socialization, administrative offices, a dining/conference room and a 400-seat multi-purpose room, which also serves as an auditorium.  Graduations are staged in the auditorium at the end of each training class. An on-site Kennel complex completes the campus. The main kennel houses up to 25 dogs while they are in for training or in for medical needs. An additional kennel houses puppies between the ages of 6 and 12 weeks in a separate facility from the adult dogs. Attached to the kennels is the Frank M. and Gertrude R. Doyle Foundation Wellness Center, used for the health and welfare of the dogs and puppies, and for when they  return for formal training.
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