Emergency Disaster Financial Assistance

The GDUI Emergency Disaster Financial Assistance (EDFA) fund

In response to recent natural disasters which affected many and led all of us to look for ways to help our fellow citizens coped with the devastation of wild fires, floods and other catastrophic events, and because we know that adversity can befall any one of us, unbidden, leaving us with few resources and even fewer places to turn for help, GDUI convened a taskforce to develop policies for offering financial assistance to guide dog teams who are struggling to cope with disaster.

The Emergency Disaster Financial Assistance Fund (EDFA) policy document was drafted in June 2011, by a core group of GDUI Board members. Funding has been secured from generous private donations, and the policy outlined below has been approved and ratified by the GDUI Board of Directors.

We encourage all GDUI members who are currently working with guide dogs to read the instructions outlined below carefully, and if you find yourselves facing financial peril as a result of a natural disaster or catastrophic event, to e-mail or call GDUI and ask us for help.

Who can apply
• Once the application is submitted, the proposed funds shall be issued only to a current GDUI member with a current working guide dog.
• Guide dog and handler must have been directly and negatively impacted by a recent disaster and in need of financial assistance for the well being of the working team.
• GDUI's Emergency Disaster Financial Assistance will be available for three (3) weeks from the first date of a known and declared disaster.
• Each GDUI member and guide dog will be allowed a one time monetary assistance grant, the amount of which will be determined after the application is processed.
• Prior to releasing any funds, the applicant's required information and qualifications will be verified and approved by the GDUI Board of Directors or committee of the Board. Upon approval, the funds will be issued by GDUI's Treasurer (or designee), to the applicant or directly to a vendor such as a pet food store or veterinarian depending on each circumstance.
• An applicant must live in the affected area and have been negatively impacted. Additionally, the working guide dog must be in immediate need of resources to ensure proper daily care, food, medicine, veterinary intervention and/or to meet other needs.

How to Apply
please read this section before proceeding to the bottom of the page for the contact information. Thank you.

Please note, in the event the handler does not have any means of contacting GDUI due to the present disaster, he/she may have one of the following communicate on his/her behalf: family member, friend, veterinary hospital or clinic, Humane Society, Red Cross/hospital, Salvation Army, religious institution, local or acting police or fire department or similar agency.

Depending on the individual circumstances, additional assistance may be requested by the applicant, reviewed by the GDUI Board or committee of the Board, for possible approval of additional funds.
• The approved funds may be issued in the form of a gift card from a known store which carries pet/dog supplies or tendered as a pre-paid credit card. Funds may also be directly transferred to a Veterinarian or Veterinary hospital or clinic. The monies may also be issued by a GDUI check or money order, wire transfer or other means depending on the handler's circumstances. The means of issued funds will be determined by the treasurer (or designee) in consultation with the applicant.
• All information submitted to GDUI by the applicant may be used by the GDUI Board of Directors or committee of the Board for purposes of determining approval of the application. All information will be held in the strictest of confidence. A news release may be issued but the name of the recipient and/or guide dog will be kept confidential per applicant's request.

***Exceptions of Eligibility***
The Emergency Disaster Financial Assistance is not available for a retired guide dog, a puppy in training and / or puppy raiser, or any household pet.

***APPLICATION Process***
All necessary information is required before any funds will be issued.
Required Information:
The following information may be provided by telephone or e-mail before eligibility is determined. We are sympathetic to the high stress levels experienced by both guide dog handlers and their dogs, and we will do our best to secure all the required information so we can respond quickly. Please have the following information ready when making initial contact:
Handlers full name, home address, city, state, zip code and phone number(s), at the time of the disaster.
If applicant's living situation is unsustainable, i.e., homeless/shelter GDUI requires present living arrangements and/or contact information. Include name, address, city, state, zip code and phone number(s.
If residing in a shelter, please give the name of the shelter, the name of the shelter director, and phone number of the shelter.

How to Contact GDUI EDFA Volunteer Staff:
Applicants and/or those assisting the applicant can call the Office Manager:
1-866-799-8436 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time or email requests to:
treasurer@gdui.org or officemanager@gdui.org


Sarah Calhoun



Emergency Preparedness Documents


Survival Kit - My Health Information                        (view text)   (download document)
Survival Kit - Service Dog Survival Information    (view text)   (download document)
Survival Kit -  Information Sheet                               (view text)   (download document)
Survival Kit - Pet Preparedness Information         (view text)   (download document)