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Petbarn Foundation's Seeing Eye Dogs Appeal Smashes Fundraising Target

Lockdown hasn’t stopped the community spirit

Aussies smash fundraising target at Petbarn Foundation’s Seeing Eye Dogs Appeal, to support those who are blind or have low vision

The Petbarn Foundation and Vision Australia are thanking the community for their support in smashing the ambitious goal of $750,000 at this year’s Seeing Eye Dogs Appeal, with $851,153 raised, equalling 17 dogs funded.

The achievement brings the total to 102 dogs trained and $4.85 million donated since The Appeal began in 2014, in turn changing the lives of people who are blind or have low vision across Australia.

Throughout the month of July, Australians generously donated at Petbarn and City Farmers stores nationally and online to help cover the costs of breeding, training, and caring for the 17 Seeing Eye Dog puppies. 
"It costs more than $50,000 and takes up to two years to train a Seeing Eye Dog."
Training begins when the dog is still a puppy and involves teaching them basic socialisation skills and obedience. On maturity, each dog receives up to six months of expert training with a specialised instructor.

Seeing Eye Dogs client Brittnee Watson says "Having a Seeing Eye Dog opened my world to a lot of things I didn’t think I’d be able to do again. It’s amazing to have that companion with you at all times. All the effort everyone puts in pays off."
"I don’t think I will ever be without a Seeing Eye Dog again; it is so worth the wait."
“It is amazing to think complete strangers care enough to help in times of need but the results from The Petbarn Foundation’s Seeing Eye Dogs Appeal prove it’s a reality! People I will never meet have made sacrifices that will allow me to continue living a high quality life, the way I want.”

Petbarn Foundation Manager Janelle Bloxsom says, “We are overjoyed to have surpassed our target by over $100,000, despite lockdowns over the month of July drastically limiting access to many Petbarn stores that were collecting donations. 

This is a true testament to the incredible generosity of the community, and we are so grateful to everyone who donated despite the challenges we are facing as a nation. This money will help change the lives of Australians who are blind or have low vision. 
"Seeing Eye Dogs provide independence, mobility and companionship, and improve their handlers’ quality of life." 
"The Appeal means even more dogs can be bred, raised and trained.”

Vision Australia Seeing Eye Dogs General Manager Graeme Craig says, “Thank you to the Petbarn Foundation and the Petbarn community for your incredible generosity that provides the ultimate gift of independence to Australians who are blind or have low vision.

The support of the Petbarn Foundation is integral to providing Seeing Eye Dogs to those who need them. The Appeal ensures our Seeing Eye Dogs pups can complete the extensive training they require. We are overwhelmed by the generosity of Petbarn customers and know the positive effect this will have on our clients. These highly trained dogs help them move confidently and navigate obstacles with much more reliability and safety.”

Royal Canin, one of the Petbarn Foundation’s key partners, also donated $50,000 towards the fundraiser while Vision Australia’s second annual “Seeing Eye Dogs Puppy Games” helped raise awareness and donations for the cause too. 

The Puppy Games saw four pups go tail-to-tail to showcase their skills and the real-life challenges they may face as Seeing Eye Dogs.

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MEDIA RELEASE, 6th August 2021

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