Silhillians asked to volunteer home for guide dog mums - The Solihull Observer

Silhillians asked to volunteer home for guide dog mums

Solihull Editorial 25th Sep, 2023   0

SIGHT loss charity Guide Dogs says it’s facing its ‘worst ever’ shortage of volunteers who provide loving, permanent homes to its guide dog mums.

The charity’s ‘Breeding Dog Holder’ volunteers have a guide dog mum-to-be living with them full-time, with all costs covered by the charity.

These volunteers look after these doggy mums like any other pet dog, and, when the time is right, help them to give birth at home to the next generation of guide dogs.

They can then enjoy the company of a litter of guide dog pups for around seven weeks, before they move out to start the early stages of their training.

The charity’s only breeding centre in the UK is just outside Leamington and you need to live within an hour’s drive of this site to do the role.

Kelly Newton, operations manager at Guide Dogs, said: “We’re currently experiencing the worst shortage of homes for our guide dog mums that we’ve ever had to face.

“Despite appealing all year for volunteers to come forward, we’ve still not found enough people who’re able to provide a loving home to one of our guide dog mums.

“Giving a home to one of our mums is a great way to have a dog to live with you, without the usual costs involved.

“We’re looking for homes across the Midlands and would urge anyone who is interested in finding out more to get in touch.”

Jane Kempton, from Harbury, has been a volunteer Breeding Dog Holder for five years.

Abbey, the guide dog mum she cares for, is a Labrador, and has just had her second litter of puppies.

Jane said: “Abbey came to me when she was just seven weeks old because I was her volunteer Puppy Raiser.

“I had a wonderful year raising her and when she got selected to be part of the breeding programme, it was a great opportunity for me to change my volunteering role and become a Breeding Dog Holder and keep Abbey living with me.

“It has been such a pleasure to watch them grow up and help Abbey look after them. Especially knowing that, like their older brothers and sisters, they will make a huge difference to someone’s life one day.”

Email [email protected] or call 0800 781 1444 to get in touch.

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