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Guide Dogs new puppy litter inspired by Neighbours TV show

Guide Dogs names litter of puppies after Neighbours characters, locations and alumni

In the spirit of Neighbours, each new litter relies on the kindness of the community as they live with Volunteer Puppy Raisers for their first year - and Guide Dogs is calling for new recruits!

In celebration of beloved Australian TV show Neighbours returning to our screens, Guide Dogs has named a litter of puppies at its Melbourne campus after its iconic characters, locations, and alumni. Evocative of the spirit of Neighbours, these cute pups will rely on the kindness of the community and new friends for the first year of their lives, as they settle into homes with Volunteer Puppy Raisers.

The lab-radorable litter includes Madge, Kylie, Margot, Kennedy, Ramsay, Harold, and Toadie, who fans will remember had his own storyline on the show as a Puppy Raiser with Guide Dog in training, Rocky.

Today the pups attend their first puppy training class, and Guide Dogs are calling on Australians to sign up and become Puppy Raisers, caring for the adorable pups and nurturing their development ahead of formal Guide Dog training.

Ryan Moloney
, who played Toadie on the show, recently had the opportunity to meet the puppy named after his character and learn all about the Puppy Raising process, further supporting Guide Dogs to promote Puppy Raising across the country.

Volunteer Puppy Raisers play a crucial role in supporting people living with low vision or blindness in the community. They will experience the joy of watching the pups grow and thrive through their training, all with full support from Guide Dogs.

Over 12 months, the Puppy Raisers will transform the young pups into potential trainee Guide Dogs who will provide essential independence and freedom to people who are blind or have low vision.

Jeanette Schena will be welcoming Kennedy into her home, her 20th puppy in a 21-year history as a Volunteer Puppy Raiser.

Jeanette said of her long career, “I love the company and support of other Puppy Raisers and the staff, and it’s amazing to see the dogs once they graduate and are out working. You see how they manoeuvre themselves and know to wait at lights and remember them as an 8-week-old puppy that’s gone on to work as somebody’s eyes.”

Guide Dogs Victoria’s Puppy Development Team Leader, Naomi Wallace said:

"The work we do at Guide Dogs wouldn’t be sustainable without the assistance of our Puppy Raisers. 
By volunteering as a Puppy Raiser, members of 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 a life without limits.”
“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 calmly 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.”

While Puppy Raisers are responsible for everyday activities such as grooming, house training and exercising their pups, Guide Dogs 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.”
“We want our volunteers to know that we’re here to support them on what is truly such a rewarding journey. We want our pups to have the absolute best start in life so they can go on to provide life changing assistance and independence to those living with low vision or blindness” Naomi concluded.

It takes over two years and costs over $50,000 to raise breed, raise and train each Guide Dog.

You can find out more about Puppy Raising opportunities in your state or territory, and apply to become a Puppy Raiser by visiting the Guide Dogs website:

MEDIA RELEASE, 8th May 2023

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