The new Chief Executive of national assistance dog charity Canine Partners is making an urgent appeal for Puppy Parent volunteers to offer the best start in life to puppies training to assist disabled people.
The charity is searching for new Puppy Parent volunteers to care for puppies in their home and teach the basic skills a puppy needs for the next stage of their training.
“We are urgently appealing for Puppy Parent volunteers across the country to take on this highly rewarding, fulfilling and fun role.
It’s a great chance to learn new skills and do something really amazing by helping to transform the life of someone living with disability,” says Alex Lochrane, CEO of Canine Partners.
“Since joining the charity in December last year, I have seen the vital role that Puppy Parent volunteers play in the early socialisation and training of a canine partner. They give our puppies the best possible chance to become a fully-trained assistance dog.”
Puppies-in-training live in a volunteer’s home from around eight-weeks-old until they are ready to start advanced training at the charity’s Midlands Training Centre in Leicestershire from 14 months old.
“Puppy Parent volunteers introduce our puppies to the world in a safe and loving environment, to give them all the confidence they need to go into the next stage of training” says Alex.
“We currently have 93 disabled adults on our waiting list for one of our amazing canine partner assistance dogs. The Covid-19 pandemic had a severe impact on training, meaning we were able to train fewer dogs, and as a result we urgently need more Puppy Parent volunteers to help us create the best start possible for these life-changing pups.”
Canine Partners trains amazing assistance dogs to transform the lives of people living with disability, boosting their confidence and independence as well as providing unique companionship.
The dogs are taught a range of tasks that will give essential support to their partner, including picking up and fetching items, opening doors and helping with dressing and undressing. They can even help to load and unload a washing machine and they can fetch help in an emergency.
Canine Partners’ expert trainers support Puppy Parent volunteers every step of the way.
Training involves home and town visits, one-to-ones and puppy classes to socialise the puppy to situations they may encounter as a fully trained canine partner.
To become a Puppy Parent volunteer in one of Canine Partners’ 11 puppy training areas across the country, the primary Puppy Parent volunteer needs to be aged 18 or over, able to flex work around training and able to commit to provide care and support for a puppy for around 12-14 months.
No previous experience is necessary and Canine Partners expert staff will support you every step of the way. If you would like to talk about whether this role is right for you, please get in touch with the team.