THE Petbarn Foundation and Seeing Eye Dogs have teamed up to encourage locals to help raise much needed funds for people who are blind or have low vision.
The Seeing Eye Dogs Appeal launched across Petbarn stores nationally on 1 May and aims to raise $800,000.
These funds will help cover the costs of breeding, caring for puppies, training and matching Seeing Eye dogs for as many people as possible.
Locals can support this cause by donating in-store at the Rosny Park Petbarn store or online.
“We are very excited to be supporting Seeing Eye Dogs again this year and are strongly encouraging the Eastern Shore community to dig deep and help us reach our target,” Petbarn Rosny Park store manager Simon Adkins said
“Seeing Eye dogs do more than just allow Australians who are blind or have low vision to retain their independence and mobility – they alleviate the effects of social isolation and contribute to an all-round better quality of life.”
Last year the Petbarn Foundation donated $679,240 to seeing eye dogs which enabled 13 dogs to be raised and trained.
It costs at least $50,000 and takes up to two years to train one dog.
Training begins as a puppy and involves teaching basic socialisation skills and obedience, with each dog later receiving up to six months of intensive advanced training with a specialised instructor.
Throughout this time each puppy is fed tailored premium nutrition.
“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,”
Seeing Eye Dogs general manager David Speyer said.
“A Seeing Eye dog allows people who are blind or have low vision to move more confidently and navigate obstacles with reliability and safety.”
To help kick start the appeal, pet food brand Royal Canin donated $50,000 to the Foundation.
Royal Canin has supported the organisation for more than ten years to ensure Seeing Eye dogs and puppies-in-training are fit for their work.
The Seeing Eye Dogs Appeal will take place across all Petbarn stores nationally from 1 May until 11 June.
To donate online, visit www.petbarn.com.au/seeingeyedogs.
Caption: Seeing Eye puppies at the first stage of training.