CHRISTMAS PLEA FROM GUIDE DOGS

The beautiful Labrador puppy is part of the Guide Dogs NSW ACT puppy raising program.

While Anita has been placed with a volunteer family there are still about 30 guide dog puppies who need to be placed with a warm and loving home for the next 12 months.

Karen Hayter, Puppy Development Manager at Guide Dogs NSW/ACT based at Glossodia said that the need to raise and train more Guide Dog puppies was driven by the growing need for Guide Dogs due to the ageing population.

Puppy raising volunteers are asked to care for a Guide Dog puppy from when it is eight weeks old to 14 months old.

“As well as providing lots of love and cuddles, puppy raisers help introduce pups to the sights, sounds and smells it is likely to encounter as a Guide Dog,” she said. “Our volunteer puppy raisers make a wonderful contribution in helping to transform a playful puppy into a responsible Guide Dog that will one day change the life of someone who is blind or has sight loss.”

While experience is not necessary puppy raisers do need to have a fully-fenced yard, have access to a car and be able to attend training days in their local area. Puppies can also not be left at home alone for more than four hours at a time. Puppy raisers also have to be available for information sessions, vet checks and puppy pre-school when required.

“We are looking for people that are home most of the time, who are interested in putting effort into training and socialising the dog. What you will get in return is a fantastic experience,” Ms Hayter said.

While puppy raisers are responsible for everyday activities such as grooming, house training and exercising their pups, Guide Dogs NSW/ACT provides food, veterinary care, flea and tick prevention and dedicated Puppy Development Advisors to answer any questions and provide guidance to puppy raisers.

It takes over two years and costs $50,000 to raise breed, raise and train each Guide Dog. Like all of the organisation’s services, Guide Dogs are provided at no cost to those who need them. For more information or to apply Visit www.guidedogs.com.au/puppyraising or phone (02) 4579 7555.