Guide Dogs NSW/ACT Puppy Raising Program now available in the ACT | Guide Dogs NSW/ACT

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26 September, 2018

Guide Dogs NSW/ACT Puppy Raising Program now available in the ACT

Two yellow lab puppies sitting side by side at the Glossodia Guide Dogs Centre

The Puppy Raising Program is a rewarding experience for families or individuals to welcome future Guide Dog puppies into their loving homes for a period of 12 months to socialise them to new surroundings.

Today we are proud to announce that the Puppy Raising Program will now be available in Canberra and ACT. Locals are now able to play an invaluable role in preparing a Guide Dog puppy it for its career as a life changing Guide Dog.

Keep reading for more information about the Puppy Raising Program or apply to be a Puppy Raiser through this online application link:

Apply to become a Puppy Raiser

Or phone (02) 4579 7555 to attend an information session in November.

Puppy Raising Program launches in Canberra and ACT

Ten to fifteen Guide Dogs puppies will need to be placed by Christmas, with the young pups requiring a warm, loving home for their first year.

This is the first time Guide Dogs NSW/ACT will have a dedicated Puppy Development Adviser and program based out of their Canberra office, with the aim to eventually increase the number of pups being raised in the ACT to 30.

Dale Cleaver, CEO of Guide Dogs NSW/ACT said that as demand for Guide Dogs grows significantly within Australia due to our actively ageing population, so does the need to raise and train more Guide Dog puppies that will eventually go on to make a difference to the life of someone living with sight loss.

“We are so excited to bring puppy raising to Canberra and the ACT and allow locals here the opportunity to be a part of such a rewarding program. We value the strong supporter base we have in the ACT and it’s a great way that we can work with the local community to give more Guide Dog puppies the love and care they need during their first 12 months,” Mr Cleaver said.

What is involved in Puppy Raising?

Karen Hayter, Guide Dogs NSW/ACT Puppy Development Manager said puppy raising volunteers 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,” Ms Hayter said.

Puppy raisers need to have a fully-fenced yard, be away from home no more than four hours at a time, have access to a car and be able to attend training days in their local area.

Puppy raisers must also 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.

You can view our full list of Key Components of Puppy Raising here:

What are the key responsibilities of a Puppy Raiser?

While puppy raisers are responsible for everyday activities such as grooming, house training and exercising their pups, Guide Dogs NSW/ACT provides a strong support network.

“We provide the food, veterinary care, flea and tick prevention and you will have a dedicated Puppy Development Adviser on hand to answer any questions and provide guidance to our puppy raisers,” Ms Hayter 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,” Ms Hayter added.

How does Puppy Raising make a difference?

In Australia, 28 people are diagnosed with sight loss that cannot be corrected every day, including nine who will become blind. An estimated 122,000 people in the state of NSW and the ACT have a vision impairment serious enough to affect their everyday lives.

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.

How do I apply to become a Puppy Raiser?

To apply to become a Puppy Raiser, simply fill out our online application:

Apply to become a Puppy Raiser

Or phone (02) 4579 7555 to attend an information session in November.

What if I can’t commit to 12 months?

We know that a 12 month commitment isn't possible for everyone. You can still help us by registering as a Temporary Carer. These Carers are on-hand to provide a loving home for when our Puppy Raisers go on holidays, or if they cannot look after their pup for a short period of time.