It’s a fee most people would find it difficult to afford, but thanks to the generosity of people across Canada, that cost is covered for people who need the canines.
A walk will be held in New Glasgow this Sunday to help continue those efforts.
The Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides is a national fundraiser held in more than 200 communities across Canada. It raises funds to help train dog guides for Canadians with visual, hearing, medical or physical disabilities. Each walk is organized by local volunteers with support from Lions Foundation of Canada.
Thanks to national sponsors, 100 per cent of the funds raised from the Pet Valu Walk go directly to six dog guide training programs. Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides have provided specially trained dog guides to more than 2,500 eligible Canadians from coast to coast at no cost and without government funding.
This is the first year that the New Glasgow PetValu will hold the walk, so store manager Jeff Callahan said he is a little unsure of what to expect in terms of turnout, but he hopes it’s the start of something to build on.
While most commonly associated with leading people who have vision problems, Callahan said it’s amazing to hear about all of the assistance that can be provided by dog guides. He’s heard of cases where the dogs have been trained to help people with diabetes remember when to take their insulin. Other dogs help people with PTSD or brain trauma.
“We have sponsor forms we give out to customers,” Callahan said. “They can go out and raise money and then they give it to us on Sunday and it all goes right in the bank on Sunday morning.”
People can also just show up on the day of the event to register and make a donation.
Visit www.walkfordogguides.com for more information or visit the PetValu located at the Westside Shopping Plaza in New Glasgow.