A CALL for volunteers in north Shropshire to help raise puppies that will go onto be guide dogs has been made.

‘Puppy Raisers’ – who give homes to guide dogs in the first year of their lives – are vital to the early development of guide dogs, teaching basic commands and helping them get used to different environments.

The role involves supporting puppies for the first 12 to 16 months of their lives before they begin their specialised guide dog training.

Bethan McDonald, a puppy development advisor based in North Wales and Shropshire for Guide Dogs, says that anyone who takes on a puppy will be supported.


She said: “My job consists of supporting volunteer puppy raisers through our Puppy Raising for Excellent Partnerships (PREP) training programme.

“This will ensure our volunteers feel confident caring for the pup, and they can develop into happy, healthy dogs ready for the next stage in their life.”

Homes are needed for guide dog puppies in Oswestry and areas surrounding the Guide Dogs centre in Shrewsbury, with Guide Dogs covering all the costs involved.

Bethan added: “Becoming a Puppy Raiser is an exciting and rewarding opportunity to raise a guide dog pup and prepare them for their future role, supporting someone with sight loss.

“Guide Dogs provide all the support and training, so you will feel well equipped to care for your puppy when they arrive with you.

“You’ll help your pup learn basic skills and get used to the outside world, ahead of their next stage of guide dog training.

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“Volunteers, who will teach the pup basic skills, must be over 18, have suitable housing and give the guide dog pup the love and attention they deserve.”

Applicants must have the ability to access online content and training materials and have an email address.

If you are interested in volunteering as a puppy raiser for Guide Dogs, pop in your postcode on our website and start your application here: www.guidedogs.org.uk/volunteer