Puppy Raising Volunteers needed in Meath

Eoin Ryan

Irish guide dogs for the blind are looking for volunteers to raise puppies training to become guide and assistance for children with autism and the visually impaired.

They are currently searching for volunteers in Dunboyne and Ratoath including several other areas across the country.

Puppies stay with volunteers starting at 8 weeks old until they reach between 12 to 14 months old before being moved into a National Training Centre for their guide or assistance dog training.

Volunteers will have a designated Puppy Raising Supervisor to provide necessary training and support to raise their puppy, keeping in touch to monitor the puppy’s progress.

“You meet so many people through the organisation and walking with the dog. You have the fun and joy of a puppy in the house, but you know when you say goodbye that someone who needs a dog will be so happy to get them. Zita O’Brien a Puppy Raising volunteer said. “It really gives your life purpose.”

All veterinary fees and feeding costs are paid for Irish Guide Dogs and a home will be found for the pup while volunteers are on holiday.

Volunteers must be 18 years or older with children in the home being 5 years or older and have access to a secured outdoor area. Up to 2 dogs in the home are allowed if they are sociable and neutered and the puppy can not be left alone for more than four hours.

It is important that the owner has time to take care of the dog and make sure it is properly trained before they are sent to the training centre.

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