A “pawsitively” record-breaking amount

THIRTEEN playful puppies will receive special training to provide assistance to Australians who are blind or have low vision thanks to the generosity of local residents during the Pet Foundation’s recent National Seeing Eye Dog Appeal.

Running for six-weeks, the appeal raised more than $670,000 across Petbarn stores nationally, with Eastern Shore residents contributing more than $5,200 to the cause.

Seeing Eye Dogs general manager Commercial and National Services David Speyer said he was “absolutely thrilled” with the result of this year’s fundraising campaign.

“I am truly blown away by the generosity of the Hobart community and on behalf of Seeing Eye Dogs, I would like to thank them for digging deep and supporting this worthy cause,” he said.

“It is because of their efforts that we are able to train these special puppies to become Seeing Eye Dogs.

“It costs up to $50,000 and takes up to two-years of intensive training for one Seeing Eye Dog to graduate.

“The first year focuses on basic training and socialisation in many different environments and then dogs begin their 16 to 20-week formal training program.

“It really takes a lot of time, love, patience and money to raise these special working dogs that will one day become the gift of independence for 13 Australians who are blind of have very low vision.”

Petbarn chief executive officer Martin Nicholas extended his gratitude to everyone who participated in the appeal.

“Seeing Eye Dogs play a very important role in the lives of many Australians and thanks to the efforts of the local community, we are proud to be involved in helping to train 13 special puppies,” he said.

“A big thanks to Royal Canin for their ongoing support during the past nine-years – this year, they kick-started the campaign by donating $50,000 to the appeal.”

To follow the progress of the Seeing Eye Dog puppies, visit the Petbarn Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/petbarn.

Caption: Petbarn Derwent Park store manager Kylie Midson.