Last month we took Binky on an outing to Southampton to visit The Guide Dogs Southampton Mobility Team. Binky met up with local fund raiser Katie Loucaides plus several guide dogs and puppies.
We want to introduce you to Yuri, a guide dog puppy, share with you what we found about this inspiring organisation and let you know how you can help them.
Guide dogs form extraordinary partnerships with their owners and all that good work starts with a puppy like Yuri. Yuri is a 3 month old pure breed Golden Retriever and he lives with a volunteer puppy walker. He will stay here until he is about 10-12 months old. During this time he is learning basic obedience commands and when he is around 14 months old he will go to one of four Guide Dog training schools to spend around 19 weeks developing basic guiding skills.
An organisation with a very clear vision:
We will not rest until people who are blind or partially sighted can enjoy the same freedom of movement as everyone else. Every hour another person in the UK goes blind and when someone loses their sight Guide Dogs are there to make sure they don’t lose their freedom as well.
Facts about Guide Dogs
1. There are just over 4,900 working guide dogs in the UK today.
2. There are around 1,400 dogs who are in puppy walking and 650 dogs in guide dog training
3. Around 800 guide dogs are enjoying their retirement
4. Guide Dogs have their own world class breeding programme which ensures future generations of guide dogs are of the best possible quality
5. In 2013 it cost around £48 million to run the Guide Dog service
6. Its costs around £50,000 to support a guide dog from birth to retirement
7. It takes around 20 months of specialised training to transform a new-born puppy into a confident guide dog
Which breeds of dog make the best Guide Dogs?
56% of guide dogs will be Golden Retriever crosses
26% will be Labradors
10% will be Golden Retrievers
5% will be German Shepherds
How can you help Guide Dogs?
A donation of £5 can support a working guide dog partnership for one day.
£8 would buy a blue puppy coat
£20 would pay for one hour’s training at a Guide Dog training school
£15 would buy a lead for a Guide Dog
£25 would buy the white iconic leather harness of a working guide dog
What can you do now??
Become a volunteer for Guide Dogs, Name a Puppy for Guide Dogs and if anyone feels they could benefit from one of their services locally please contact the Southampton mobility team on 01189838892.
For just £1 a week, you can sponsor a puppy and receive regular updates about how your sponsored puppy is doing.
Here are all the links you need:
Name a Puppy:http://www.guidedogs.org.uk/supportus/fundraising/donate/other-ways-to-donate/name-a-puppy-change-a-life/#.VpTYCvl_s9Y
Sponsor a Puppy:http://www.guidedogs.org.uk/microsites/sponsor-a-puppy/#.VpTYRfl_s9Y
It is possible to sponsor a guide dog puppy as an individual or a company and puppies are also sponsored in people’s memory.