AN assistance dog charity is looking for volunteers to become ‘puppy parents’.
Canine Partners opened their doors to show potential volunteers how they can get involved at the official launch of its new Fareham puppy class.
Canine Partners, a charity which trains dogs for people with physical disabilities, is looking for new members to join its new class at Titchfield Community Hall in Titchfield on Wednesdays between 1.30pm and 2.30pm.
The charity needs volunteers to become puppy parents – dedicated people who take one of their dogs into their homes from eight weeks old to around 14 months and begin the early training that will lead on to tasks that will benefit someone with a disability.
Volunteers will take the trainee assistance puppy into their home for around a year and teach them basic obedience, social skills and core tasks, before the dogs are moved on to more advanced training, where their skills are refined for a disabled person’s needs.
Puppy parents will need to have time, commitment and a sense of humour.
Canine Partners will provide food and equipment for the puppy and cover all veterinary costs for the duration of the puppy parent relationship.
David Filmer, of Fareham, who has congenital paraplegia and is helped by his canine partner Zack, said: ‘Before I got Zack I used to have low patches on a regular basis, but now I rarely get them.
‘Besides, I know Zack will cheer me up anyway – he’s always so playful and cheeky, you could never stay sad in his company for long.’
Puppy parent Julie Edwards, of Havant, said: ‘I became a puppy parent because I wanted to do something rewarding which would make a difference to someone’s life.
‘What I hadn’t foreseen was the impact the puppy would have on me. I am fitter and healthier than I have been in a long time. These dogs transform lives – amazing.’
If you would like to play a vital role in training a canine partner, please phone 01730 716017 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.