THE LATEST four-legged additions to the Guide Dogs family are looking for temporary homes in Solihull.
Known as puppy walkers they look after future guide dogs for the first year of their life from around seven weeks onwards. They provide the puppy with a vital foundation for its future role when it will be assisting someone with sight loss.
Melvin and Kay Cullen from Shirley, who are currently raising their fourth puppy for Guide Dogs, said: “Puppy raising is the best thing we’ve done in our life by a country mile, I can’t see us ever not doing it.
“Solihull has a great puppy walking community, we have met other like-minded volunteers and to us they are not just other puppy raisers, they’re our friends.”
Volunteers must be age 18 or over and Guide Dogs cover all feeding and veterinary costs.
Staff at Guide Dogs provide regular support and guidance for volunteers and boarders are available to look after pups when puppy walkers want to go on holiday.
When Melvin and Kay were asked how they cope with saying goodbye to the pups when they leave for training, they said: “It is difficult, but you see the fruits of your labour, you feel a sense of pride that you’ve been part of what made that dog what they have become.”
For more on how to become a puppy raiser contact volunteering consultant Penny Hefferan on 0118 983 8882 or email firstname.lastname@example.org