Guide Dog Assistance Fund

What is the purpose of the fund?

Guide dogs help their users to be independently mobile in their daily lives. CNIB is interested in assisting guide dog users to keep their dogs healthy. The fund is set aside to cover the following:

  1. Extraordinary veterinary expenses for working guide dogs;
  2. Limited financial support for Canadian conferences and training events which are for or about guide dogs and their users.

CNIB and guide dogs

Although CNIB is not a guide dog school, our Orientation and Mobility Specialists do work with individuals who are interested in obtaining a guide dog and often assist with the application process. Orientation and Mobility Specialists also provide instruction to guide dog users who may be learning an unfamiliar environment such as a new workplace or school. Go to CNIB in Your Community to learn more about services available in your area.

If you expect your guide dog to be ill for a prolonged period of time, we encourage you to contact your community CNIB office to arrange for orientation and mobility instruction to assist you while you are without your guide dog.
If you are interested in guide dog organizations, please visit cnib.ca

A. Assistance for Extraordinary Veterinary Expenses

Who is eligible to apply for funding?

Any person who is blind or partially sighted living in Canada who works with a guide dog that has been trained through a registered guide dog school. The guide dog must be currently working (not retired). The applicant need not be a client of CNIB.

What is an extraordinary veterinary expense for working guide dogs?

Emergency or unexpected expenses that are not routine care expenses, including but not limited to:

  • emergency care;
  • surgical procedures excluding teeth cleaning;
  • treatment for infections and fractures;
  • long-term medications;
  • special diets prescribed by veterinarian; and
  • the cost of euthanasia.

What is not covered by the fund?

  • Expenses normally covered by the school that trained the guide dog.
  • Pet insurance policies held by the school or the user.
  • Expenses already reimbursed by another organization or service club.
  • Veterinary expenses (including euthanasia) for a retired guide dog who is no longer in active service
  • Routine veterinary care including: routine check-ups; vaccinations; routine grooming such as toe-nail clipping and ear cleaning; flea and heart worm medication, and teeth cleaning.

Who makes treatment decisions?

A guide dog's user and the veterinarian make decisions about the best treatment for the dog. The CNIB fund administrator will inform you if that treatment is eligible for funding.

When can I apply?

Application must be made after treatment has taken place and veterinary invoices can be submitted with the application form. If an estimate of expenses (related to an extraordinary expense such as surgery) is requested prior to treatment, eligible reimbursement will not occur until after veterinary invoices have been submitted. Application for reimbursement should take place no more than three months after the treatment.

How do I apply?

The application form can be downloaded here. Please fax or email a complete application form to: (416) 480-7700, attention Administrator, Guide Dog Assistance Fund, or guidedogfund@cnib.ca.

What happens to my application?

The application will be carefully reviewed before approving a request.  After a close review of each application, the Fund Manager may decide to pay all, part or none of an eligible extraordinary veterinary expense. Reimbursement is at the sole discretion of the Fund Manager, and the decision is final. Once a request is approved, reimbursement takes about one month.  

For more information, contact the Administrator of the Guide Dog Assistance Fund, by e-mail at guidedogfund@cnib.ca or by telephone at (416) 486-2500, ext. 7563.

Other questions

How can I donate to the Guide Dog Assistance Fund?

To make a donation to the Guide Dog Assistance Fund or any of CNIB’s vital programs and services, please call us at 1-800-563-2642. Tax receipts will be issued for donations of $15 or more unless otherwise requested. 
Charitable Registration No. 119219459 RR0003 

B. Assistance for Conferences and Training Events

What types of activities are eligible for funding?

Eligible activities are limited to: conferences, workshops and training events which are for or about guide dogs and their users, taking place in Canada within four (4) months of the time application for funding is made. Funding is intended to reduce the attendance fees for all participants. It cannot be used to support individuals to attend an event.

Who can apply?

Any registered charitable organization in Canada (must provide proof of registration as a charitable organization).

Application Process

  • The first step in the process is to seek an assessment of eligibility for reimbursement. To seek this assessment, please complete the application form (downloaded here) and then fax or email completed application, together with event budget, to: (416) 480-7700, attention Administrator, Guide Dog Assistance Fund, or guidedogfund@cnib.ca. To mail the application, together with event budget, please send to: CNIB, 1929 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M4G 3E8, Attention: Administrator, Guide Dog Assistance Fund.
  • After application has been approved, and conference has taken place, please submit invoices for reimbursement of expenses, within one month of the event date(s).

After a close review of each application, the Fund Manager may decide to pay all, part or none of a conference/workshop expense. Reimbursement is at the sole discretion of the Fund Manager, and the decision is final.

Back to top of page