Volunteers needed for part-time puppy love | Guide Dogs NSW/ACT

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23 February, 2017

Volunteers needed for part-time puppy love

A little of yellow puppies jumping out of their bed and frolicking in the grass.

Do you want to look after an adorable Guide Dog puppy, but you can’t commit to becoming a full-time Puppy Raiser?  

Guide Dogs NSW/ACT is urgently seeking residents living in Penrith, Richmond and the Hills District to provide short-term care to Guide Dog puppies. These volunteers provide care when full-time Puppy Raisers go away for weekends or on holiday, or during the interim period between the end of training and when the Guide Dog is placed with their future handler.

“As well as providing lots of love and cuddles, short-term carers help introduce pups to the sights, sounds and smells it is likely to encounter as a Guide Dog,” Guide Dogs NSW/ACT Puppy Raising Manager, Karen Hayter said.  

“Our volunteers 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 vision impaired.”

It takes almost two years and costs more than $35,000 to raise breed, raise and train each Guide Dog and Puppy Raisers play a vital role in this.

“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.

“Guide Dogs provide food, veterinary care, flea and tick prevention and be on hand to answer any questions and provide guidance,” she said.

Three yellow puppies sit next to each other on the grass while a fourth puppy wiggles out of line

“Like all Puppy Raisers, short-term carers 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 attend training days in the local area.”

Short-term carers must also be available to visit the Guide Dogs Centre at Glossodia for vet checks and Puppy Pre-School when required.

Providing short-term care to pups is a wonderful opportunity for individuals or families who may not want the 12 month commitment of becoming a full-time Puppy Raiser, and it’s a great way to give back to the community.

Every day in Australia, 28 people are diagnosed with vision loss that cannot be corrected, including nine who will become blind.

“With the demand for Guide Dogs’ services increasing due to growing numbers of people having trouble getting around as a result of vision loss, we’re incredibly grateful for the support we receive from the community,” Ms Hayter said.

“As we receive less than 2 per cent of our funding needs from the government, we rely on the public's generosity to fund our services, which are all provided at no cost to those who need them.”

If you would like to become a short-term Puppy Raiser for Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, please apply online or call the Guide Dogs Centre at Glossodia on 4579 7555.