History of Lions and Leader Dog

It all began in 1938, when Charles A. Nutting, Donald P. Schurr and S.A. Dodge led the Uptown Lions Club of Detroit in establishing a school to train guide dogs for people who are blind. Their motivation was Dr. Glenn Wheeler, a fellow Uptown Lion whose attempts to be accepted by another guide dog organization proved unsuccessful. The first clients were housed at the Park Avenue Hotel in Detroit and graduated in the fall of 1938.

On April 4, 1939, Lions Leader Dog Foundation was incorporated as a Michigan nonprofit. In May 1939, the Foundation leased a small farm in Rochester Hills, Michigan to house their new venture. Fifty dollars per month rented a farmhouse for the clients and staff, a barn for the dogs and a garage.