While watching Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs grow over the past 13 years, I have visualized for several of those years how to do things better, thus leading us to building a state-of-the-art campus.
Finally, the day has come that we all have long awaited as we begin building our first campus outside of Florida – in southwestern Pennsylvania. This new facility is 102 acres, with 100 acres in Washington County, McDonald, and 2 acres in Allegany County. It is in Pittsburgh’s backyard, just twenty minutes from downtown and ten minutes from the airport along the Montour Trail. Here, we will serve people throughout the northeastern United States in many ways.
What Makes This Campus Special?
First and foremost, of course, we will be training and pairing medical service dogs on this campus. It will also include housing for our disabled recipients while they are being paired. We have learned over the years that we have to do more to develop high-quality employees; thus, we have also started the Borden Institute of Higher Learning, which will teach all animal-related careers. Our new one-of-a-kind campus will also be home to our chain of Borden Veterinary teaching hospitals. This hospital will take care of all our dogs in training, as well as our paired teams, and eventually open to the public for low-cost large and small animal care for the community. The hospital will also play a critical role in teaching courses for the Institute.
About nine years ago, we began making trips to Pittsburgh after being introduced to the area by our dear friend Tony Accamando. We’ve met so many wonderful people in southwestern Pennsylvania and throughout this whole region, all of whom have embraced and supported our mission. It felt like the right thing to do and the right fit to bring our first campus outside of Florida to this area.
All the conceptual drawings of the campus have been approved, so now our architects, engineers, and construction contractors will begin working together to facilitate this project under the supervision of myself and the campus construction director.
In November, we will have a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate this milestone of expansion and growth of our organization as well as for the entire industry.
Since this project is estimated to take nearly two years to complete, we will build it in phases. It is our objective to make the campus functional without waiting for all construction to be completed. This will allow us to begin pairing more teams in Pittsburgh sooner.
How You Can Play A Role
Thanks to one of our generous donors, we were able to pay off the land sooner, and thanks to our many other generous donors, we have already raised a significant portion of the funding needed for the project. Our team is excited to move this campus forward in its completion, so we invite the public to be a part of this magnificent project by buying a brick or sponsoring a “dogaminium” or a building. There are many ways everyone can contribute.
This project is unique and is the first of its kind in this country, where everything can be done on campus to support the efforts of Guardian Angels in training service dogs and saving lives.
Stay tuned for more updates on our campus, and we hope you can join us for our November groundbreaking ceremony! Visit our website today to learn more.