North County Leader

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Balbriggan Branch Busy Fundraising For Guide Dogs

How would you like to raise a gorgeous puppy like this for Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind? To find out more, see accompanying story on Guide Dogs

The Balbriggan\North County Dublin Branch of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind are fundraising on an on-going basis, to collect money to train more guide dogs for blind people, and more assistance dogs for families who have a child with Autism.

They give talks in schools all over the region and they often begin with the person who has the guide dog talking a little about themselves and why they have a guide dog.

All involved are volunteers and give freely of their time and no money is ever looked for to do such a talk.

The issue of the importance of fundraising is spoken about and why the national charity only gets 15 per cent of its overall funding requirements for running the organisation from Government

Tom O’Neill from Balbriggan\North County Dublin Branch of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind visited a number of schools recently, including Skerries Community School, where the children ran a successful cake sale and raised some money for the local branch.

Little Wonders play school also invited Tom and his guide dog in on Community week and Tom’s grand daughters, who are in that play school took over and told everybody about his guide dog Gatsby.

Santa Sabina Dominican College Sutton is another school that the branch visits each year. Anna Giblin a puppy walker from Baldoyle and Andrew Green Balbriggan with his guide Dog Nico visited earlier this year.

For 27 years now, Tom and one or other of his guide dogs have visited St Molaga’s N.S. Balbriggan and will again after Easter this year. Tom and Andrew have already been with the 3rd classes of St Teresa’s NS in Balbriggan.

For further information please send an email to guidedogsbalbriggan@gmail.com or ring 085 7663107.

Meanwhile, Irish Guide Dogs is urgently looking for volunteer puppy raisers in Dublin.

Puppy Raising is a crucial part of Irish Guide Dogs work. Although done on a voluntary basis, it will take time, commitment and love from both you and your family. The end result however, is a very special dog.

The work will provide the puppy with a vital foundation for its future role as a Guide Dog for a visual impaired person or as an Assistance Dog for a family with a child with autism.

As a puppy raiser you will foster and socialise the pup from 8 weeks to 12-14 months. The puppy will sleep in your home and all training equipment and food will be provided by Irish Guide Dogs. You’ll also get regular training classes and support from your puppy raising supervisor.

To find out more, contact Eimear Kenneally at 087 9945115 or email eimearkenneally@guidedogs.ie