Charity Guide Dogs are seeking animal-loving volunteers - including a role raising puppies

If you are dog lover but your lifestyle means you cannot look after a dog full-time, then this could be the perfect role for you!

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UK charity Guide Dogs are on the lookout animal lovers to get involved by volunteering. And one of the roles they're recruiting for in the North West and Merseyside is that of Puppy Raisers.

Those who take up the position are responsible for bringing up a puppy from when they're eight-weeks until around 14 months old, when they will start their formal guide dog training.

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Volunteer Puppy Raiser Bobby Owens first wanted to get involved with Guide Dogs 30 years ago, but with him and his wife working and kids to look after, it wasn't the right time. Twenty-four years later, after retiring, 10-month-old Evans is the sixth dog he's taken in.

Bobby told LiverpoolWorld: "It starts off with the trainers then the boarders, and they give you feedback on how the dog is progressing. Then eventually, you get the feedback from the visually impaired person of how grateful they are. That's the real punch in the air moment."

Emma Porter became a Volunteer Fosterer for guide dogs back in 2018. Although her husband already has a guide dog of his own, she said it wasn't until she got involved with the charity herself that she realised their work. Fosterers look after trainee guide dogs during evenings and weekends, dropping them off at 'Guide Dogs School' every weekday.

Emma Porter said: "They provide everything you need. Things like bedding, bowls, even some toys, all the food. They take care of all the vet costs. It's like you've got a pet without any major expense other than dropping it off and picking it up. When you're with the dog at home, you've got the fun bit. You can do the playing with them. You can take the dogs on lead walks."

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The charity are also on the lookout for Dog Care volunteers who look after the dogs whilst they're in the office, My Sighted Guide is paired with a person with sight loss and becomes their companion, going out together and visiting places they would not be able to do otherwise. They are also seeking Fundraisers, who do collections for the charity in shops, usually along with a guide dog!

To find out about the volunteer roles available in your area, visit

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