Felixstowe/Ipswich: Appeal for volunteers to be puppy walkers
- Credit: Archant
CUTE and cuddly when they’re young, but the dogs bred by the Guide Dogs charity have a vital role to play in life – acting as the eyes of a blind or partially-sighted person.
Now the charity is seeking more people to help its puppies on their first steps to becoming a guide dog.
Guide Dogs is appealing for volunteers in Ipswich, Felixstowe and Bury St Edmunds areas to train and socialise guide dog puppies, a volunteering role known as puppy walking.
Puppy walkers provide the full-time care and education of a puppy from seven weeks until between 12 and 14 months old when the puppies return to the charity to begin their formal guide dog training.
It’s a role carried out for the Ipswich Star by Penny Parker, of Felixstowe, who has looked after all five of the appeal pups paid for by readers’ generous donations and fundraising – Star, Faith, Sterling, Robson and Diamond.
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She said: “Volunteering for Guide Dogs has been a life changing experience. I’ve gained confidence and made many friends. I feel great that someone’s life has changed by looking after a puppy.”
Daniel Ingram, volunteer development co-ordinator for Guide Dogs, said without puppy walkers the charity would not have guide dogs.
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He said: “The role is challenging and it’s a real commitment to take a puppy in to your home for a year, but with the support of Guide Dogs staff, our volunteers find it extremely rewarding and worthwhile to raise a dog who will one day give a blind or partially-sighted person a new independence by acting as their eyes.”
? For more details about becoming a puppy walker call 0845 371 7771, or email firstname.lastname@example.org