Dogs for the Disabled is appealing for new volunteer puppy socialisers in the Banbury area.
The charity, based in Blacklocks Hill, needs patient, dog-loving volunteers to look after an eight-week old puppy for the first 12-14 months of its life to teach basic skills including walking on a lead, ‘sit’, ‘down’, ‘wait’ and ‘stay’.
Puppy socialisers also have a vital role in introducing puppies to a variety of locations and situations including supermarkets, schools, hospitals, dentists, buses and trains as well as parks and other people’s homes to prepare them for their working life.
The charity’s puppy co-ordinators, Vicky Mark and Sue Price, will provide continuous support including regular home visits. The puppy’s food and vets’ bills are paid by the charity.
Sue said: “We’re entirely dependent on our volunteer socialisers to give our puppies the right start. Their time and effort is invaluable and prepares our puppies for their advanced training.”
Vicky added: “Some of our puppy socialisers are on their eighth or ninth puppy – it’s such a rewarding thing to do.” Volunteers should live within approximately one hour’s drive of Banbury, have a secure garden, limitless supplies of love and patience and be able to attend monthly puppy classes.
The volunteer’s reward is to see the puppy become a fully-qualified assistance dog, indispensable to a disabled adult or child and armed with an astonishing array of skills including fetching the phone, loading and unloading the washing and much more. Some will progress to become autism assistance dogs helping a child with autism and the entire family live a calmer, less stressful life.
Those who would like to know more should contact Liz Stone on 01295 759827.