Guide Dogs NSW/ACT is seeking local volunteers in The Hills and Hawkesbury to play an invaluable role in helping bring the next generation of Guide Dog puppies into the world.
Guide Dogs NSW/ACT’s Home Whelping and Puppy Rearing Program will see specially selected breeding females give birth in warm, loving volunteer homes.
The role of a volunteer carer includes home whelping and rearing of the puppies until they are six weeks of age. At around this age they return to the Guide Dogs Centre at Glossodia to eventually go out to their Puppy Raising families at eight weeks old. Volunteers are to care for the breeding dog for the time she is in the program, which can be up to four years.
Volunteers need to be located less than an hour away from The Guide Dogs Centre in Glossodia.
Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, Veterinary and Breeding Manager Dr Caroline Moeser said full training and support will be provided to volunteers, but it is essential that someone is home most of the time to look after the little bundles of fur.
“The mum and puppies need a nice warm place to sleep that will be in a central place inside the house so they can be around all the normal noises of family life and have lots of interaction with people,” Dr Moeser said.
“We are looking for people that are home most of the time and have a fenced yard, who are interested in putting effort and love into the most formative weeks of a puppy’s life, as well as caring for beautiful mums. What you will get in return is a fantastic experience.”
A Guide Dog NSW/ACT’s Advisor will visit regularly to help with weighing, worming and enrichment. In addition, volunteers receive ongoing support and instructions. All items needed are supplied to enable volunteers to have a challenging but very rewarding experience.
It takes over two years and costs $50,000 to raise breed, raise and train each Guide Dog. Like all of the organisation’s services, Guide Dogs are provided at no cost to those who need them.
“By volunteering to help whelp and care for a mum and her puppies in their very first weeks, you will make a wonderful contribution that will help these special pups to one day change the life of someone who has low vision or blindness.”
You can find out more, and apply to become a Whelping family by contacting Leah Willet on LWillett@guidedogs.com.au