Volunteer puppy raisers needed in Toronto

Apr 28 2017, 5:59 pm

CNIB is looking for volunteer puppy raisers in Toronto.

The organization is kicking off its 100th year by launching its guide dog training program in Winnipeg, Halifax, and right here in Toronto.

The program helps raise and train guide dogs for people with sight loss.

And the CNIB is seeking animal lovers who want to volunteer to help raise puppies from the age of 8 weeks to about 12 to 15 months of age, when they formally begin guide dog training.

“The CNIB Guide Dog Program​ has been designed to provide the range of choices and services that Canadians with sight loss have told us they want,” said John Rafferty, CNIB President and CEO in a press release. “Our focus is to train guide dogs to specifically meet their needs, with training philosophies that maximize success and a suite of supports to ensure every guide dog user has full enjoyment of their guide dog.”

The puppy raiser’s role is to provide a loving home and to help prepare the pup through a supervised obedience and socialization skills program overseen by CNIB. All costs will be covered by the organization.

There are almost half a million blind and partially sighted people in Canada, according to CNIB. For some, a guide dog provides an unparalleled level of mobility, freedom and confidence —opening up the world in a whole new way.

“I think anyone who would like to have a guide dog should have the opportunity, so I’m pleased this new program will expand the availability of guide dogs in Canada,” says Victoria Nolan, CNIB national board member and long-time guide dog user.

“I’m also glad that advocacy on accessibility, the built environment and guide dog user rights is central to the program. Wouldn’t it be great if any guide dog user anywhere could get into a cab or have a coffee with friends without discrimination?”

Those interested in the CNIB Guide Dog Program, including how to apply to be a volunteer puppy raiser, can check out their website for details.

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