Laois homes needed for adorable Irish Guide Dogs puppies

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Laois homes needed for adorable Irish Guide Dogs puppies

Irish Guide Dogs needs Laois homes for puppies in training

Do you live in a Laois town? Could you give a special puppy a loving home for a year before it becomes a Guide or Assistance Dog?

Irish Guide Dogs is looking for puppy raisers in Laois, particularly in areas near towns to socialise the pups.

"Although done on a voluntary basis, it will take time, commitment and love from both you and your family. The end result, however, is a very special dog," the organisation says.

The Puppy Raising Programme develops and cares for puppies from the age of 8 weeks to 12-15 months. The work gives the puppy a vital foundation for its future role as a Guide Dog for a visual impaired person or as an Assistance Dog for a family with a child with autism.

Puppy raisers foster and socialise a pup from 8 weeks to 12-14 months. The puppy sleeps in the home and all training equipment and food is provided by Irish Guide Dogs. Regular training classes and support are given from a supervisor.

Irish Guide Dogs is specifically looking for people who live in Laois, particularly Durrow and Abbeyleix. They must have an enclosed garden. They will not have children under the age of five. There will be an adult at home all day (the pup cannot be left on its own for more than three hours)
They can commit to a 14-month period of minding a pup in training and attend Irish Guide Dogs’ monthly training sessions.

To find out more or to apply online, go to www.guidedogs.ie or contact their Dog Volunteer Coordinator Eimear Kenneally at 087 9945115 or email eimearkenneally@guidedogs.ie

Key facts about the Irish Guide Dogs
Irish Guide Dogs help people live their lives as fully as possible with independence, confidence and mobility. They provide life-changing services to people who are vision impaired and to families of children with Autism. The demand for Irish Guide Dogs' services however is beyond what they can currently support.
They continue to provide services for free to ensure no one is excluded due to lack of income.

It costs more than €5 million to fund the services annually. More than 85% of income comes from public donations and the generous fundraising of volunteers.
Irish Guide Dogs over 40 years, through our clients, volunteers, staff and supporters, has established a reputation of integrity and professional experience that is recognised nationally and internationally.

Irish Guide Dogs Services are provided free of charge and include:
 Guide Dogs Programme (for people who are blind and vision impaired)
 Assistance Dogs Programme (for families of children with autism)
 Orientation and Mobility Training (long cane training)
 Independent Living Skills Training (home skills)
 The Next Step Programme (for young adults making the transition from home to work or college)
 Child Mobility Programme

Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind is a registered charity based in Model Farm Road, Cork. It currently supports 176 Guide Dogs and 286 Assistance Dog Partnerships as well as helping 738 vision impaired clients in Ireland.
It cost over €5 million to run the organisation in 2017. It takes 2 years to train a guide or assistance dog, who will go on to work for approximately 8 years. It costs approximately €38,000 to breed, train and support a single working dog partnership for the duration of its working life.

Case Study: Puppy Elf

Elf is a Labrador Retriever pup who is being Puppy Raised in Durrow, Laois. 

Here he is settled into his new home:

He is just 4 months old and is learning all about his new environment at the moment. He is already showing signs of high intelligence and good obedience with high hopes for his guide dog potential.

He has 12 brothers and sisters who are being Puppy Raised in other areas of Munster and Leinster.