Puppy appeal | Melton & Moorabool

Ewen McRae

Petbarn Caroline Springs is doing its bit for the blind, raising funds for the Seeing Eye Dogs Appeal all month.

As part of a nationwide campaign that aims to raise more than $500,000 to help cover the costs of breeding, training, and caring for at least ten Seeing Eye Dogs, the store is calling on the community to help out.

Petbarn Caroline Springs store manager, Melissa Hancock said the appeal was an important part of their annual activities.

“Seeing Eye Dogs do more than just allow Australians with vision loss to retain their independence and mobility – they provide companionship, alleviate the effects of social isolation and contribute to all-round better quality of life,” Ms Hancock said.

“Seeing Eye Dogs is just another example of how animals can enrich our lives. We encourage everyone to visit our Petbarn stores or donate online to help continue to provide these special assistance dogs to people in the community.”

It costs more than $50,000 and takes up to two years to train a Seeing Eye Dog. Training begins when the dog is still a puppy and involves teaching them basic socialisation skills and obedience.

On maturity, each dog receives up to six months of expert training with a specialised instructor.

Vision Australia Seeing Eye Dogs general manager Graeme Craig said they were grateful for all the community support they receive each year.

“Our partnership with The Petbarn Foundation is integral to helping our Seeing Eye Dogs pups complete the extensive training they require,” Mr Craig said.

“It takes a lot of expertise, time, love, patience and funding to raise these special dogs that will one day become the gift of independence for people who are blind or have low vision. For the right person, the highly-trained dogs help them to move quicker and navigate obstacles with much more reliability and safety.”

Donations can be made in store until August 2, or online at petbarn.com.au/seda.

Ewen McRae

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