North Lakes Community Urged To Help Puppies Reach Their Potential

by Petbarn North Lakes | Apr 12, 2017

Seeing eye dog fundraising with Petbarn North Lakes

For many of us the thought of losing our vision is not only frightening but something unimaginable. But in reality, there are an estimated 350,000 Australians who are blind or have low vision, many of those who would love the assistance of a seeing eye dog. To help make this possible, The Pet Foundation have teamed up with Seeing Eye Dogs Australia (SEDA) to kick off a major fundraising appeal.

The SEDA Appeal, which launched across Petbarn stores nationally on Monday 20 March will run for a total of six weeks, with the aim to raise $700,000 to cover the costs of training 14 Seeing Eye Dogs.

The Pet Foundation and SEDA are urging locals to dig deep and show their support for this worthy cause by simply visiting their local North Lakes Petbarn store and making a donation towards the Appeal. For those who can’t make it in store, a contribution can be made online by visiting www.petbarn.com.au/seda.

Local North Lakes Petbarn Store Manager, Bec Lill, says: “We have supported SEDA for a number of years and we are excited to launch this latest fundraising appeal to help more people with vision impairment. Dogs are undoubtedly one of man’s best friends, but it’s also important to remember that for many Aussies they are also their eyes and access to independence. Seeing Eye Dogs Australia is a fantastic charity and we strongly encourage North Lakes locals to dig deep and to help us reach our target”.

Last year, through the support of the North Lakes community and Australians across the country, The Pet Foundation were able to donate $674,978 to SEDA, which enabled 13 more Seeing Eye Dogs to be trained.

“We’re proud to note that the 13 pups who entered into the program thanks to last year’s fundraising campaign are now nearing the end of their 12-15 month puppy caring phase and are on track to become fully equipped Seeing Eye Dogs,” added Bec.

It takes close to two years and costs $50,000 to train one Seeing Eye Dog. This thorough training process includes 12 months caring and socialisation for the puppy as it grows into a dog, then the real work begins with up to 6 months of intensive advanced training with a specialised Instructor, 2-3 weeks of residential training, 1-2 weeks training in the clients’ home area and follow up and aftercare for the life of dog while it lives with its owner.

Graeme Craig, General Manager from Seeing Eye Dogs Australia said: "It 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 people who are blind or have low vision.

For the right person, a Seeing Eye Dog is a far better option than using a cane allowing them to move more quickly and navigate obstacles with much more reliability and safety. A Seeing Eye Dog can use its own initiative to stop at roads and move its owner out of the path of danger.

To help kick start the 2017 Appeal, Royal Canin is donating $50,000 to the Pet Foundation, which will go directly to SEDA. Royal Canin has supported the organisation for the past nine years by providing nutritionally rich foods to ensure that Seeing Eye Dogs and puppies in training are fit for a lifetime.

The SEDA Appeal will take place across all Petbarn stores nationally from 20 March – 30 April 2017.

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