Calling all puppy lovers. The Canadian Institute for the Blind (CNIB) is bringing their puppy raising program to Regina.
The role of a puppy raiser is to take in a puppy from the age of eight weeks to a year, at which point they become old enough to receive formal guide dog training.
“CNIB uses puppy raisers because it’s a good opportunity to get dogs used to living in households,” said Ashley Nemeth, lead for community engagement and advocacy with CNIB.
“At the end of puppy raising they’ll go into formal training and then will be matched with someone who is blind or partially sighted.”
Puppy raisers will be responsible for providing a loving home to a puppy in training, and to help prepare the pup through supervised obedience and socialization skills. All costs will be covered by CNIB.
According to CNIB, there are over 14,000 blind and partially sighted people in Saskatchewan. For some, these guide dogs give them mobility, freedom and confidence.
“I was lucky enough to receive one of the first graduate guide dogs from this program and my experience has been amazing,” said Nemeth.
Her guide dog, Danson, can locate escalators and elevators and can even find her family and kids in a store.
Nemeth said puppy raisers can be anyone.
“You just have to really love dogs, be able to spend a lot of time with dogs and be willing to put a lot of work into it.”
Those interested in becoming a puppy raiser can apply online.