Vision Australia need local puppy carers

Vision Australia need local puppy carers
Spencer Fowler Steen

Vision Australia is looking for volunteers who live in North Melbourne, Kensington, Flemington and West Melbourne to help raise puppies as part of the organisation’s Seeing Eye Dog program.

Carers will be given a puppy to look after for about a year – from around its eighth-week birthday to when it turns between 12 to 15 months old.

During that time, carers will provide a loving home to nurture the puppy, helping to socialise them and teach basic skills such as toilet training, to sit, and to walk nicely on a lead.

Anna Day, a previous carer, said it was a truly life-changing experience.

“Knowing that you’re part of a bigger future for them is very rewarding,” she said.

“Seeing how amazingly smart these dogs are and being a part of that, you’re playing a part in both the dog’s life, and the life of someone who truly needs it.”

Of course, it’s not all fun and cuteness. Dog carers will be responsible for regular grooming, house training and exercise, and will be expected to be available for regular visits.

A fenced-in backyard is mandatory too.

The cost of all equipment, food, dog health care, vet costs and training is covered by Seeing Eye Dogs.

Carers will also receive ongoing support from a puppy development trainer as they progress, but looking after a puppy does require you to be at home most of the day.

Slightly older puppies may be more suited to a work environment where they can sit with you at your desk, go on longer walks and travel on public transport.

Once the puppies reach 12 to 15 months old, they will be returned to Vision Australia so they can begin their journey being companions for people who are blind or have low vision •

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