Mayor of Northampton meets Spencer the guide dog puppy and announces £20,000 charity milestone

Spencer is 12-weeks-old.
Spencer is 12-weeks-old.
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The Mayor and Mayoress of Northampton have welcomed their second of four sponsored guide dog puppies to the Guildhall.

Spencer, a 12-week-old golden Labrador, is a guide dog puppy-in-training and is named after Spencer Perceval, the only Prime Minster to come from Northampton.

He will leave for 'big school' (advanced guide dog training) around 15 months.

He will leave for 'big school' (advanced guide dog training) around 15 months.

His training has been sponsored by the Mayor of Northampton Christopher Malpas, who has used this year's Mayor's Fund to raise over £20,000 for Guide Dogs for the Blind Northampton.

Councillor Malpas, who is registered blind, said: "Having a guide dog like Verity changed my life. With her, I was able to run for councillor and I wouldn't be where I am today. The work that goes into training guide dogs is so important."

In his visit to the Northampton Guildhall yesterday (May 9), Spencer 'met' Spencer Perceval at his statue in the lobby before enjoying some playtime with councillor Malpas' current guide dog, Verity.

It is estimated a guide dog will need £56,500 during their lifetime of service for food, health checks and training, as well as ensuring they have a safe, comfortable retirement.

Spencer plays with 'Auntie' Verity.

Spencer plays with 'Auntie' Verity.

Donors who raise £5,000 for Guide Dogs for the Blind earn the privilege of naming a new trainee puppy.

Spencer's name was chosen by Northampton Borough Council employee Louise Hannam, who won a competition in November and was invited to the Guildhall to meet the new puppy.

He is the second of four puppies that will be sponsored and named by councillor Malpas' fundraising.

Councillor Malpas said: "When I began fundraising this year I never expected it to fly out of hand like it has.

Spencer at the Northampton Guild Hall yesterday (May 9).

Spencer at the Northampton Guild Hall yesterday (May 9).

"It's a tremendous amount money and a complete tribute to way the Guide Dogs Northampton branch have come together as a team to help my fundraising. They are as much a part of this success as I am."

Spencer will leave for advanced guide dog training - or 'big school' - when he is about 15 months old.

Spencer 'meets' Spencer Perceval in the Guild Hall lobby.

Spencer 'meets' Spencer Perceval in the Guild Hall lobby.