Puppy carers needed in Melbourne’s western suburbs

Vision Australia puppy carer co-ordinator Wendy Lake. (supplied)

About 30 people are on Vision Australia’s waiting list for a guide dog at any given time.

And puppy carer co-ordinator Wendy Lake wants to see that list whittled down, so more blind people can get their independence back.

Ms Lake says there are very few puppy carers across the western suburbs.

“The more carers we find the better, so we can get that waiting list down,” she said.

Seeing Eye Dogs Australia is urgently seeking volunteer puppy carers to take on the challenging but rewarding task of looking after a seeing eye dog puppy until they’re ready to start their formal training.

Ms Lake said volunteer puppy carers are needed to train the pups to go to the toilet on command, eat when instructed and not be lured by balls or easily distracted.

“Puppy caring is extremely rewarding. You have a new puppy with all the support from Vision Australia.

“So you’re getting the benefit of having a dog and also helping change someone’s life,” she said.

Puppy caring starts at about eight-weeks-old until 15 months, before more rigorous training starts. All food and vet costs are covered, and puppy trainers visit regularly.

For more information about being a puppy carer, visit seda.visionaustralia.org or call 1800 037 773.