herald

Sunday 4 December 2016

Foster homes wanted to help train puppies

Roy Keane
Roy Keane

Irish Guide Dogs are searching for full-time puppy sitters to take care of their playful pups.

The charity says they "urgently require volunteer puppy walkers" in the Dublin area to help in their essential training process.

Communications Officer for Irish Guide Dogs Martina Brogan says they have "some beautiful pups needing homes throughout June and July".

"As a puppy walker, you will foster and socialise the pup from 6 weeks to 12-14 months," she said.

The playful pooches must be allowed to sleep in your home, and all training equipment, and food will be provided by Irish Guide Dogs.

Puppy fosters also get regular training classes and support from a "walking supervisor".

training

Ms Brogan says the programme is an essential element in the training process of effective guide and assistance dogs.

"Walking is very much an important part of the training. If you take part you will be supporting the charity's essential work.

"You will be making a real life changing difference for people with vision impairments and children with autism," she said.

"The basic role is socialising with the puppies, playing with them and getting them used to people and children as well as being outside.

"But there is a few minor but essential requirements for potential walkers," explains Ms Brogan.

"There must be an adult at home full-time, and puppies can't be placed in homes where there are children under the age of five."

The charity says they have 30 or 40 pups ready to go and always need people to sign up for the ongoing programme.

"We have a lot of people who enjoy the time they spend with the puppies so much that they sign up again and again but we always need new walkers," added MS Brogan.

Last month, the charity's star supporter Roy Keane gave an exclusive interview to guide dog owner Kevin Kelly.

Talking about his involvement with Guide Dogs, Roy said: "I got involved many years ago, thinking it might last one or two years, but I think the Guide Dogs are like the mafia, once you join it you can't leave."

To find out more, call Irish Guide Dogs on 1850 506 300 or visit www.guidedogs.ie

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