Volunteers urgently needed in Mansfield and Ashfield to care for guide dogs

Dog lovers from across Mansfield and Ashfield are urgently needed to care for trainee guide pups as they prepare to become life-changing companions.

Thursday, 24th June 2021, 8:01 am

Volunteers are being asked to provide temporary homes for dogs as they complete the latter stages of their guide dog training.

Sight loss charity Guide Dogs for the Blind covers the cost of all the food, veterinary care and equipment required for each dog and provides volunteers with full training and support.

The organisation is in urgent need of at least 25 new homes in the Nottinghamshire area for its future guide dogs.

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Would you like to take care of a guide dog?
Would you like to take care of a guide dog?

Tracey Leigh, operations manager for Guide Dogs in Nottinghamshire, said: “This is a great opportunity for an individual or a family to care for a dog on a temporary basis.

"On weekdays, the dog you are caring for would attend training sessions at our specialist centre.

"On weekends, the dog can spend time with you and enjoy time out from training sessions.

"After a few months, they will move on to the next stage of their training, eventually becoming a life-changing guide for somebody living with sight loss.

"You can then look forward to caring for a new dog, as and when you are ready to do so.”

As part of the role, fosterers would be required to drop dogs at the Nottingham Guide Dogs centre on Phoenix Business Park on weekday mornings and collect them again in the evening.

A guide dog begins its formal training at around 12 to 14 months old and, in normal circumstances, most dogs qualify as working guide dogs by the age of two.

Volunteer fosterers usually care for dogs that are between 14 to 24 months of age.

The two main breeds the charity uses are labradors and golden retrievers, which are crossed to gain the best characteristics of each breed.

Tracey added: “This is an incredibly rewarding volunteering role, suitable for anyone aged 18 or over. We also welcome applications from people who have other pets at home.

“We’re in urgent need of new volunteers as soon as possible.”

Anybody who believes they could provide a loving, temporary home for a trainee guide dog in Mansfield and Ashfield should contact volunteering coordinator Melanie Brown via [email protected] or call 0800 781 1444.