AN URGENT appeal has been launched to find homes for guide dog mums and dads in Worcestershire.
Whilst many guide dog pups start their formal training at a year old, a proportion are selected to breed.
Like any pet the dogs need regular walks, care and company and the Guide Dogs charity covers all food and veterinary costs.
At certain points each female will litters which go on to provide life-changing support to those with sight loss.
The charity gives volunteers 24-hour support when the pups are born.
Since 2016 Katie Webb has looked after yellow labrador cross golden retriever Iggy who has had two litters.
She said having guide dog pups was fantastic and the charity’s staff were so supportive.
Between six and seven weeks old puppies move to the charity’s state-of-the-art breeding centre for health and temperament checks before starting on their guide dog journeys.
Katie added: “The best bit is knowing what these puppies are going to do in the future.
“All the pups are going to be life-changers for people.”
The charity also provides a free of charge kenneling service for guide dog mums and dads.
Kelly Newton, senior breed stock supervisor, appealed for anyone who could volunteer to get in touch.
“We’re in desperate need of homes in the Worcestershire area for our guide dog mums, who play an integral part in helping us to provide our life-changing services to people with sight loss.
“Looking after a guide dog mum is incredibly rewarding and we provide all of the training required to ensure you have the skills you need to provide our dogs with the best care.”
“If you could help us, we’d urge you to get in touch.”
Volunteers must be aged 18 or over and live within an hour’s drive of the Guide Dogs National Breeding Centre near Leamington Spa.
Guide Dogs has a Breeding Code of Ethics, emphasising the charity’s commitment to the dogs’ health and welfare.
Anyone interested in finding out more or putting themselves forward should email Kelly Newton at [email protected] or call 0345 143 0216.