Attacks On Guide Dogs Rising, Finds New Report

The other day while perusing the
Guide Dogs website
I came across
This article
Which says that dog attacks on guide dogs have more than doubled, with there only being three attacks every month across the UK, to there now being over 7 a month. That was over a 14 month period.

I think that more needs to be done about these attacks. They can affect guide dog owners just as much as they can affect the dog.

Guide dogs have written a standard letter encouraging microchipping for all dogs, but you can add your own
Comments and experiences
And write to your MP. I wrote to my MP, but i’m not sure if it will do much good.

These dog attacks need to stop right now. The media have been interested this week, with alot of guide dog owners here apparently doing interviews about dog attacks on radio, and a couple of news papers taking up the story too. The chief executive was on
Day break
Earlier this week, and the head of campaignes was on
BBC five live
Too. I’ve just found out on twitter that the chief executive has written
This blog
Because the issue has got such a response since Monday. I’ve even posted the orriginal link on
the Teams facebook page

While dog attacks are a horrible thing to go through, I think that the more owners who speak up about it the better. I would never wish anyone to experience one, but if you can, please write to your MP as the more people do it, the more things could change.

I’ll be sure to post any more news. Please raise the issue. Dog attacks are a serious serious matter!

I’m sorry this is so long, but i would encourage anyone to spread the word about this horrible issue. As you can probably gather from this post, it is an issue very very close to my heart!

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.

Guide Dogs Announces Plans For New Services In Northern Ireland

Here’s an article about Guidedogs in Northern Ireland.

Guidedogs Announces Plans For New Services In Northern Ireland

28 May 2009

Charity creates five new jobs as it rolls out more support for blind and partially sighted people in the region.

Guide Dogs has announced plans to create new jobs in Northern Ireland, expanding its services for blind and partially sighted people.

Northern Ireland’s oldest guide dog owner, Doris Mackay (85), attended an event at Waterfront Hall, Belfast (Wed, May 27), where Guide Dogs unveiled its full plans.

Twenty-five years after Guide Dogs began services in Northern Ireland; it is introducing a 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.

Guide Dogs will also be creating a team of volunteers who will socialise guide dogs to-be before returning them to the charity for advanced training – best known as “puppy walking”.

Putting the framework in place for the new services has led to the creation of five new jobs with the possibility of more jobs to come.

Pete Swan, Guide Dogs’ Northern Ireland district manager, says: “As well as providing freedom and independence through our guide dog service, we campaign for the rights of the blind and partially sighted community – particularly on mobility and access issues.

“We also fund major research projects, looking into the prevention and cure of eye disease. All of our work is funded by voluntary donations and by gifts left in wills. We’re extremely grateful to everyone in Northern Ireland for their generosity and support, and delighted our expansion plans will benefit the local economy.”

Doris Mackay from Belfast is completely blind and has been a guide dog owner for 32 years. Accompanied by Donna, a Labrador Retriever cross – her fifth guide dog – her life-changing experience reflects Guide Dogs’ ambitions to support more people with sight loss in Northern Ireland.

Doris’ independence and confidence has been transformed thanks to her guide dogs. She gets plenty of exercise, walking around Belfast, and is a keen member of a blind bowling club; Donna loyally by her side.

She trained with her first two guide dogs in Forfar and Exeter, but can now benefit from a more local service, thanks to Guide Dogs’ team in Belfast.

Doris says: “Guide Dogs has transformed my life. I was so proud to attend the event, and delighted that many more blind and partially sighted people in Northern Ireland will benefit from the charity’s services in coming years.”

Guide Dogs will also be celebrating a quarter of a century in Northern Ireland with a series of events this summer, including a high profile stand at Balmoral, between May 14 to 16, and a family fun day at Stormont on August 22.

If you are interested in becoming a Guide Dogs’ volunteer in Northern Ireland, call 0845 371 7771.

If you would like to make a donation to Guide Dogs’ life changing work call, 0870 600 2323.

Key facts – Guide Dogs in Northern Ireland

•There are approximately 90 working guide dogs in Northern Ireland.
•Guide Dogs also provides rehabilitation services to over 500 visually impaired or blind people in Northern Ireland, who don’t own a guide dog.
•The first guide dog to be trained in Northern Ireland qualified in August 1984. She was a retriever cross Labrador called Eve.
•The charity’s Belfast Office has trained approximately 340 guide dogs.
•Guide dogs in Northern Ireland will train 15 new guide dog partnerships this year, of which for an estimated 40% of those trained; it will be their first guide dog.
•You don’t need to have lost all your sight to apply for a guide dog. Most people who own a guide dog still have some vision.
•You don’t need to be formally registered as blind or partially sighted to own a guide dog.
•Anyone over sixteen can apply and there is no upper age limit. Some of the oldest guide dog owners are in their eighties!
•Guide Dogs breeds approximately 1,200 puppies every year and are one of the largest breeders of working dogs in the world.
•It costs just 50p to have a guide dog and all essential equipment is provided free of charge.
•The charity relies on voluntary donations to fund its guide dog service.

Just think, one of those “15 Partnerships” will be me soon!!!!!! Hard to believe that 25 years ago, the first Guidedog was trained here.