Puppy pals will comfort autistic children or help adults with disabilities thanks to fund raising from March women
PUBLISHED: 10:06 07 March 2017 | UPDATED: 10:06 07 March 2017
A pair of Labrador puppies are in training to be assistance dogs for adults with disabilities or children with special needs thanks to fund raising by women at March golf club.
Opal and Pasco are full of fun but behind the games they are in serious training to become an animal helper with the charity Dogs for Good.
Glenis Jones, captain of the women’s section of the club, chose the group as her charity to support last year.
She said she was delighted to learn that the £2,005 raised has been used to sponsor the puppy pals.
She said: “Opal is a very lively black Labrador and Pasco is a Labrador Golden Retriever cross.
“It’s hard to believe that these tiny puppies can one day provide the gift of independence to someone.
“I am extremely grateful to all who supported her charity and made this all possible.”
Fund raising included a coffee morning and a fine dining event.
Opal and Pasco are being guided through their important first year with their volunteer puppy socialiser.
At sixteen months their socialisation will come to an end and they will return to the training centre in Banbury to meet their trainer and instructors learning the vital skills they need.
These include picking up dropped items, fetching the phone, loading and unloading the washing machine, calling lifts and helping someone dress and undress.
They will also learn how to distract or comfort a child with autism who is angry, anxious or distressed and keep them safe when out and about.
At about two years old they’re ready to become fully qualified assistance dogs.
Dogs for Good (formerly Dogs for the Disabled) was established in 1988 and has trained more than 750 assistance dogs to date and currently has more than 300 working in England and Wales.
There are 187 assistance dogs working in partnership with adults with disability, 69 working with children with a disability and 57 working with a family with a child with autism.