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Guide Dogs Victoria: puppy-raisers needed urgently

Winter litters of Guide Dogs puppies looking for warm homes in Victoria

Guide Dogs VIC is celebrating the arrival of its winter litter, but the young pups will need loving and responsible volunteers to help care for them over the next twelve months while they develop some of the basic skills required ahead of their formal Guide Dog training.

Volunteer Puppy Raisers play a critical role in transforming young puppies into trainee Guide Dogs, who will one day provide essential independence and freedom to someone who is blind or has low vision.

Up to twenty volunteers are urgently needed in Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo to take on this rewarding challenge.

Guide Dogs Victoria’s Puppy Development Team Leader, Naomi Wallace says, "The work we do at Guide Dogs Victoria wouldn’t be sustainable without the assistance of our Puppy Raisers. By volunteering as Puppy Raisers, the community can help us to train and raise our beautiful dogs who go on to ensure Australians who are blind or have low vision lead independent lives.”

Puppy Raisers need to: 

✔️ have a fully fenced yard
✔️ be away from home no more than four hours at a time and
✔️ have access to a car.

✔️ Raisers must also be able to attend training days in their local area so the puppy can learn basic skills such as sitting nicely when being groomed, walking nicely on a lead and developing good house manners - all of which sets them up to develop the skills they’ll need to change a life.

“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,” Naomi Wallace said.

Melbourne-based Loretta has been a Puppy Raiser with Guide Dogs Victoria for five years. Loretta is currently raising Nash, who is 4 months old and is currently undertaking his training to eventually become a Guide Dog.

"The Puppy Raising process is amazing. Not only do I get the joy of looking after a new puppy, but I also get to be part of the incredible community at Guide Dogs. I have met so many dedicated people who are doing a fantastic job at supporting people with low vision or blindness."

"Through raising puppies, I have realised how crucial this stage of the Guide Dogs training program is and how valuable the work done by all the team is during this journey. I thoroughly enjoy the process, the dogs never cease to amaze me with what they are capable of, their ability to understand feelings and offer support from a young age is astonishing. The hard work truly pays off because the end results are so rewarding, seeing the difference they go on to make in someone’s life.”

"Volunteering with the Guide Dogs team has also been a delight, they offer support every step of the way, as well as being very generous with their time and the supplies they provide. 
"Puppy Raising has definitely been one of the most fulfilling things I have done."
While Puppy Raisers are responsible for everyday activities such as grooming, house training and exercising their pups, Guide Dogs Victoria 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,” Naomi Wallace said.

It takes over two years and costs $50,000 to raise breed, raise and train each Guide Dog. Like all the organisation’s services, Guide Dogs are provided at no cost to those who need them.

You can find out more, and apply to become a Puppy Raiser by visiting the Guide Dogs website:

MEDIA RELEASE, 12th July 2022

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