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Volunteers Needed to Raise Future Guide Dogs

Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind is soon expecting new litters of puppies.  Within weeks, these puppies will need loving homes for a long-term volunteer commitment of 12-18 months.  All food and veterinary expenses are provided.

The pups require homes to learn what it takes to be a ‘good dog’ before entering into formal training to become a guide dog or assistance dog for someone in need.

You’ll need to be able to spend most of the day with the puppy, not leaving it alone for more than a couple of hours at a time.  These pups are raised with the intention of being with someone 247 as a working guide dog.  Pups are placed into homes at approximately eight weeks of age, so you’ll be housebound for a short time.  The pup is kept mostly in the house until it has received vaccinations at sixteen weeks of age.  After that, you are asked to take the puppy anywhere you go and introduce it to as many environments and situations as possible, that it may later encounter as a guide dog.  You are expected to take the pup for daily long walks in all weather conditions.

The idea behind the voluntary role is to teach basic obedience and socialization.  Support is provided from professional staff from Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind, including training and obedience classes.

This is a very unique volunteer opportunity, and you could help play a role in changing someone’s life.  Would you be a suitable candidate for a volunteer position like this?  The main thing is that the pup not be left at home alone all day.  Current volunteers include stay-at-home parents, post-secondary students, individuals who work from home or have their own business, part-time workers, or retirees.  In fact, some gain permission from their employer to take the dog to work on a daily basis.  The organization is seeking someone who is committed, loves animals, wants to learn, and is able to work on a schedule with the puppy.

When the dog is ready to enter into formal training at the National Training Centre of Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind, you must be prepared to give up the dog, so that it may continue its journey to work as a guide dog.

Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind has information sessions scheduled for February 27, March 13 and March 27, 2015.  To learn more about the Puppy Walking Program or sign up for the next information session, you can contact Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind at (613) 692-7777 or email info@guidedogs.ca .

  Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind was established as a registered charity in 1984.  Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind has provided more than 750 professionally trained guide dogs to Canadians who are visually impaired from coast to coast. Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind also operates an Assistance Dogs Division, which trains assistance dogs for individuals in the local area with mobility-related disabilities.

To learn more about the organization, visit www.guidedogs.ca or phone (613) 692-7777.