Puppy Raisers are volunteers who care for Guide Dogs’ pups. Their main responsibility is to raise and care for the puppy until it’s around 12 to 16 months old, train it and get it used to lots of different sounds and smells, and expose it different environments such as cafes, shops and public transport.
Requirements for this role include having the time, good communication skills, a suitable home to bring up a puppy and being physically capable of handling a puppy which will grow quite quickly.
Terry Finn, who has been a Guide Dogs Puppy Raiser since 2018, is now on his third puppy called Aero. He said: “It’s the best thing I’ve done for years.
‘The volunteering role suits us, we wanted our own pet dog, but it can be quite tying and we didn’t want a dog full time. You get genuine affection and love from them. It’s very rewarding.”
Hannah Laidlaw, the volunteering co-ordinator for the North-West at Guide Dogs, said: “It’s a challenging role, but it’s so much fun too. We get asked a lot if it’s sad giving the dog back – yes it is because you have a special bond together. But that puppy will go on to change someone’s life; your puppy will give someone with sight loss freedom and independence. It’s a great feeling knowing you have contributed to that’.
Puppy Raisers are provided with training and a dedicated member of staff who is available to answer all questions.
For more information visit www.guidedogs.org.uk