Keen Auckland volunteers needed to help tomorrow’s guide dogs
30 July 2012
Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind (RNZFB) guide dog puppies are looking for homes to learn in for the first 12-18 months of their lives.
The RNZFB is seeking dog-lovers based in Auckland to volunteer their time as puppy walkers and help socialise young pups before they enter formal guide dog training.
The puppies are all bred at the RNZFB’s Guide Dog Centre in Manurewa and placed with puppy walkers from around eight weeks of age. The need for puppy walkers is ongoing and the RNZFB is currently placing around 8-10 puppies each month.
RNZFB Puppy Development Coordinator, Paula Gemmell, says volunteer puppy walkers help introduce puppies to social situations and environments they’ll encounter as guide dogs.
“These situations include using public transport, going to the movies, restaurants or the supermarket – normal everyday activities. The more places a puppy goes, the better, because it gets used to different smells, noises and situations.
“Basically, puppy walkers provide the young pups with love, care, socialisation and confidence for the first stages of live, before they begin training to become guide dogs,” Paula says.
If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer puppy walker, you must:
- Have no more than one pre-schooler at home.
- Have no more than one other dog in the house.
- Have a high fully-fenced and dog secure section.
- Be able to walk the puppy about 5km per day.
- Be able to drive and have a car that the puppy can travel in.
- Not work full-time and have enough spare time to socialise the puppy.
Once puppy walkers have been accepted and given a puppy, RNZFB’s Guide Dog Services will visit regularly and provide support, food, equipment and veterinary care (including worming and vaccinations).
For more information, please call RNZFB’s Guide Dog Services during business hours on 09 269 0400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit our website to complete an online application form at www.rnzfb.org.nz/puppy-walking.
About the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind:
- The RNZFB equips its members with the training, tools and tips they need to deal with their blindness and achieve their potential.
- Guide dogs are one of the many services that the RNZFB offers its 11,500 members.
- RNZFB guide dogs give blind and partially sighted users independence, confidence and companionship.
- RNZFB guide dogs are taught to guide their owners around hazards, negotiate traffic, locate common destinations and travel on public transport.
High resolution images are attached of RNZFB guide dog puppies. Please credit RNZFB.
For more information please contact:
Rosalyn Macdonald, Communications Advisor, 09 355 6891 or email@example.com
Paula Gemmell, Puppy Development Coordinator, 0274 506 329