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08 April, 2016

Puppy-love at the Hawkesbury Show

Three blonde Guide Dog puppies sitting next to each other on the grass

Puppy Raisers to bring Guide Dogs in training to rural show

For the first time, Guide Dogs NSW/ACT will bring some puppy-love to the 130th annual Hawkesbury Show. As the Show's charity partner, Guide Dogs will have some volunteer Puppy Raisers stopping by the organisation's merchandise stall to showcase some of the newest puppy recruits.

The largest rural show in New South Wales, Guide Dogs is providing the 45,000 expected attendees with a rare opportunity to meet the next generation of life-changing Guide Dogs and the people raising them. The puppies in training will give show goers a unique behind-the-scenes look into the beginning stages of the puppy to Guide Dog journey.

Show goers can learn about volunteering as a Puppy Raiser, and for a gold coin donation they can have the opportunity to name a puppy. With about 200 Guide Dog puppies requiring a loving home each year, Guide Dogs NSW/ACT is always looking for more Puppy Raisers across Sydney.

"Volunteer Puppy Raisers make a significant contribution to providing independence to someone who is vision impaired," said Karen Hayter, Puppy Raising Manager for Guide Dogs NSW/ACT.

Visitors can also purchase some pawesome gifts at the Guide Dogs stall, including a Guide Dog showbag and a variety of plush puppies.

It costs more than $35,000 and takes over two years to transform a playful puppy into a responsible working dog, whose job it is to safely guide someone who is blind or vision impaired from one destination to another, such as from home to work. Each dog is provided at no cost to the person.

As demand for Guide Dogs grows due to increasing vision loss, so does Guide Dogs NSW/ACT's reliance on the public's generosity to fund breeding, raising and training costs.

There are an estimated 300,000 Australians with uncorrectable vision loss, 100,000 of whom live in NSW and the ACT. These figures are predicted to increase by more than 50% by 2030.

With all the entertainment and action of the big city shows, the Hawkesbury Show is sure to be a fun and action-packed weekend for the whole family.