Guide Dogs NSW/ACT hopes to raise AUD$1.4 million over the festive season to develop its own puppy breeding program.
The State’s leading trainer and provider of guide dogs for the blind and vision-impaired has launched a ground-breaking initiative to breed its own puppies for the first time.
“In 2009 around 200,000 people across NSW and the ACT were affected by vision loss – this figure is expected to increase 40 per cent to almost 300,000 by 2020,” said Dr. Graeme White, CEO of Guide Dogs NSW/ACT.
“Through breeding our own puppies, we aim to double the number of guide dogs graduating by 2015. This will enable us to better meet the growing demand from people wanting a guide dog – be it their first or to replace a retiring dog.
Through breeding our own puppies, we aim to double the number of guide dogs graduating by 2015…
“So for Christmas this year, our wish-list is quite extensive, and as we don’t receive government funding, we’re appealing to the community for their help.”
To establish and grow the program, the organisation needs AUD$1.4 million over the next five years. That money will be used to purchase breeding stock; extend its existing guide dog training centre to include a puppy breeding wing; buy puppy play equipment; and cover associated veterinary costs.
The charity’s Fundraising Manager Alex Green said the ultimate Christmas gift would be for one person or organisation to donate the entire AUD$1.4 million.
“Such a gift would guarantee the program’s future and in return the donor would play a unique behind-the-scenes role in the puppy to guide dog journey,” said Mr. Green.
“From naming opportunities to special visits to see new-born puppies progress through to graduation, the donor will be helping to bring independence to more people with impaired vision.
Other Options for Donations
“Of course, if you don’t have a spare AUD$1.4 million, there are many other ways to support the program – from AUD$15, which will buy a water bowl, to AUD$80 for a puppy vet check, or AUD$30,000 to sponsor, meet and name one of our breeding dogs, follow their progress and be invited to the program’s official opening.”
To support Guide Dogs NSW/ACT’s Christmas Appeal and help the organisation establish its Puppy Breeding Program, call (AUS) 02 9412 9300 or visit www.guidedogs.com.au.