Volunteers urgently needed in Northampton to look after guide dog puppies for the first year of their lives

Without ‘puppy raisers’ the charity cannot continue to provide its vital support

Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 11:24 am
Updated Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 11:26 am

A sight loss charity is urgently appealing for volunteers to come forward in Northampton to look after a guide dog puppy for the first year of its life.

Guide Dogs is searching for at least ten new homes in the town for guide dog puppies where they can learn basic commands and get used to the outside world.

At about seven weeks of age, puppies move to live with their volunteer ‘puppy raisers’, where they remain until they are around 12-16 months of age before they head off to a training centre to begin their specialised training.

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‘Puppy raisers’ play a vital role in the early socialisation and education of guide dogs.

Claire Purr, a puppy development advisor for Guide Dogs, said: “Despite launching our campaign to recruit puppy raisers in Northampton last month, so far we’ve received little interest.

“This is a great opportunity for people to raise a guide dog puppy, helping to prepare a pup for their future role supporting someone with sight loss.

“It’s a long-term volunteering role, as each pup will live with you for at least a year.

“We’ll provide all the training required and the support you need, so you feel well equipped to care for your pup as they grow and develop.

“We need to find new homes for our guide dog puppies in Northampton, to ensure we can keep our life-changing services running.

“If you’re from Northampton and think you could give a loving, temporary home to a guide dog pup, please do get in touch.”

Guide Dogs covers the cost of all the food, veterinary care and equipment required.

Volunteers must be aged over 18 and have suitable housing.

Caring for a puppy is a full-time commitment and volunteers must be able to give a guide dog pup the love and attention they deserve.

Applicants must have the ability to access online content and training materials and have an email address.

To find out more, contact the Guide Dogs volunteering coordinator for Northampton, Mike Hefferan, via [email protected], call 0800 781 1444 or visit the charity’s website.