Warm homes needed for Guide Dog mums to be and their pups

Volunteers are needed to help bring the next generation of Guide Dogs into the world. Picture: Geoff Jones
Volunteers are needed to help bring the next generation of Guide Dogs into the world. Picture: Geoff Jones

Guide Dogs NSW/ACT is on the look out for a caring group of new volunteers to help bring the next generation of service puppies into the world.

The organisation's Home Whelpng and Puppy Rearing Program will see specially selected breeding females give birth in warm, loving volunteer homes.

The volunteer carers will be involved in home-whelping and rearing of the puppies until they are six weeks of age.

The puppies then return to the Guide Dogs Centre at Glossodia to eventually go out to their puppy raising families at eight weeks of age.

To be eligible to take part, volunteers need to be located less then an hour away from the Glossodia centre.

Guide Dogs NSW/ACT veterinary and breeding manager Dr Caroline Moeser said that full training and support would be provided to volunteers, but it was essential that someone was home most of the time to look after the litter and mums.

"The mum and puppies need a nice warm place to sleep that will be in a central place inside the house so they can be around all the normal noises of family life and have lots of interaction with people," she said.

"We are looking for people that are home most of the time, who are interested in putting effort and love into the most formative weeks of a puppy's life, as well as caring for beautiful mums. What you will get in return is a fantastic experience."

A Guide Dog NSW/ACT advisor will regular visit to help with weighing, worming and enrichment. All items required are supplied to volunteers.

It takes more than two years and costs $50,000 to raise, breed and train each guide dog. At the end of the process, the dogs are provided at no cost to those who need them.

"By volunteering to help whelp and care for a mum and her puppies in their very first weeks, you will make a wonderful contribution that will help these special pups to one day change the life of someone who has low vision or blindness," said Dr Moeser.

For more information and to apply to become a whelping family contact Leah Willett via email LWillett@guidedogs.com.au