Guide Dogs Launches Puppy Walking In Northern Ireland

Here’s another article i found about Guide dogs in northern ireland. It was on the
New Look Website!
which has much more info on it!!!!!!!! Enjoy the article!!!! I love hearing about guidedogs news that is local.

The streets of Northern Ireland will be busier by April 2010 as 30 new volunteer puppy walkers begin socialising guide dog puppies. An appeal for these puppy walkers was launched recently as part of Guide Dogs plans to expand its services for blind and partially sighted people in the country.

Northern Ireland TV stars Christine Bleakley and Alexandra Ford are supporting Guide Dogs appeal for people in Bangor and Belfast to become volunteer puppy walkers and help socialise guide dog puppies.

The new puppy walking scheme was launched at the charity’s recent family fun day at Stormont. Nearly 30 of these crucial puppy walking volunteers are needed to provide the full-time care and education of a puppy from six weeks of age until they are between 12 and 14 months old. After their puppy walking the puppies will be returned to the charity to begin their formal guide dog training.

Puppy walkers prepare guide dog puppies for their working life ahead. They familiarise them with different environments including the home, towns and public transport. Guide Dogs supplies basic equipment and will cover all veterinary and feeding expenses.

Alison Sinclair, Guide Dogs Puppy Walking Manager for Northern Ireland explains: “We are delighted that Christine and Alexandra are supporting our appeal and urging people to come forward and volunteer for Guide Dogs. We are looking for enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers who can care for the puppies full-time for the first year of their life.

“Puppy walking is challenging and requires commitment and dedication but with training and support from Guide Dogs staff, our volunteers find puppy walking extremely rewarding and worthwhile.”

If you would like to request more information about becoming a puppy walker or other volunteering opportunities with the charity, please call Guide Dogs’ on 0845 371 7771 or email You can also visit our puppy walking pages.

A young guide dog puppy is a full-time companion for their temporary owners, who find it rewarding to raise a dog who will one day give a blind person a new independence by acting as their eyes.

To become a puppy walker, volunteers will need to be home for the majority of the day and be able to take their puppy into many varied environments, have access to a car and a securely fenced yard or garden.

25 years after Guide Dogs began services in Northern Ireland it is introducing the puppy walking scheme and will work with health services in Northern Ireland, as well as other charities, supporting blind and partially sighted people.

This will involve introducing a volunteer assisted mobility service (sighted-guiding), and an extended rehabilitation service for people with sight loss.

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