Appeal to look after guide dogs in Gloucestershire
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Posted 10 April 2012 - 08:40 AM
GUIDE dogs are usually the ones offering support but man’s best friend is making an appeal for board and lodgings in Gloucestershire.
Volunteers are needed in the area to look after guide dogs, who are in training.
The charity Guide Dogs, which currently supports 8,000 dogs across the country, is looking for people to become boarders who would look after guide dogs in training overnight and during the weekends.
Louise Malthouse, a Guide Dog mobility instructor for Gloucestershire, trains up to eight dogs a year.
She said: "It’s basically bed and breakfast for dogs. It is people who have a dog at home with them every evening and weekends.
"I pick up the dogs in the morning and drop them off late afternoon or the evening."
No previous experience of dogs is necessary because training is given by the charity.
Guide Dogs also provides volunteers with bedding and covers the cost of food and any vet bills.
The purpose of the scheme, so it appeals to as many different types of people as possible, is that it allows people to enjoy having a dog but without the long-term commitment.
A boarder would be expected to look after a dog, aged 18 months, for approximately 12 weeks while it is trained to support someone who is blind or partially sighted.
There are 4,500 working guide dogs in the country. Guide Dogs has 320 breeding bitches and this year alone the charity hopes to breed 1,300 puppies.
Louise said: "It’s really rewarding and you are making a real difference. When you see the difference a guide dog can make to someone’s life you realise how important it is to train the dogs."
Anyone interested in becoming a Guide Dog boarder should call Louise Malthouse on 07771985928 or email firstname.lastname@example.org For information about volunteering with Guide Dogs or helping with fundraising visit www.guidedogs.org.uk
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