WORTHY CAUSE: Help support Vision Australia Seeing Eye Dogs by donating to the appeal at Bundaberg’s Petbarn store.
WORTHY CAUSE: Help support Vision Australia Seeing Eye Dogs by donating to the appeal at Bundaberg’s Petbarn store.

Round of appl-aws for local foundation raising funds for appeal

PETS enrich our lives for many reasons and one local campaign hopes to raise the much needed funds to ensure assistance dogs can continue their incredible work.

After partnering up for the last seven years, The Petbarn Foundation and Vision Australia Seeing Eye Dogs are hoping to raise as much as possible to best assist people who are blind or experience low vision.

Petbarn Bundaberg are calling for much needed donations which help fund the essential needs and training costs of Seeing Eye Dogs.

The national appeal hopes to raise more than $500,000 this year, which has the power to cover the costs for 10 dogs.

Bundaberg’s Petbarn store manager Sue-Anne Alderdice said Seeing Eye Dogs commence training when they are still puppies and can take up to two years.

Training which can cost more than $50,000, involves teaching the pups basic socialisation skills and obedience.

When each Seeing Eye Dog reaches maturity, they also receive up to six months of expert training with a specialised instructor.

“Seeing Eye Dogs do more than just allow Australians with vision loss to retain their independence and mobility – they provide companionship, alleviate the effects of social isolation and contribute to all-round better quality of life,” Ms Alderdice said.

“(The program) is just another example of how animals can enrich our lives (and) we encourage everyone to visit our Petbarn stores or donate online to help continue to provide these special assistance dogs to people in the community.”

With the support of the public right across the country and as a result of The Petbarn Foundation’s Seeing Eye Dogs Appeal, the campaign has raised $3.2 million over six years, with donations helping to breed, train and care for 70 seeing eye dogs.

Vision Australia Seeing Eye Dogs general manager Graeme Craig said the specially trained dogs safely guide those who are vision impaired and help them to avoid obstacles.

“Our partnership with The Petbarn Foundation is integral to helping our Seeing Eye Dogs pups complete the extensive training they require,” Mr Craig said.

“It takes a lot of expertise, time, love, patience and funding to raise these special dogs that will one day become the gift of independence for people who are blind or have low vision.”

In a bid to help raise funds for the worthy cause, four puppies from Vision Australia Seeing Eye Dogs will go head-to-head and tail-to-tail in a fun round of puppy games.

Pet food supplier Royal Canin is also jumping on-board and will match each donation made on Game Day from midday, up to the total of $500,000.

Petbarn Bundaberg are accepting donations for the Seeing Eye Dogs appeal from now until August 2.

Donations for The Petbarn Foundation’s appeal can be made by visiting a local Petbarn store, or online at petbarn.com.au/seda

For more information, visit petbarn.com.au/foundation, seeingeyedogs.org.au and thepuppygames.com.au