A litter of guide dog puppies came together yesterday to celebrate their first birthday at a special event held in Edinburgh.
The puppies are part of the first ever fully funded guide dog litter, thanks to support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Over the last 12 months, players of People’s Postcode Lottery have raised a staggering £2,209,506 towards the training and care of these life-changing pups, as well as for other key projects at the charity.
Taking a morning break from their specialist training, seven of the litter of nine pups attended the party, where they enjoyed a birthday cake made specially for dogs, and met People’s Postcode Lottery staff for some well-deserved cuddles. Turning one means the pups will soon enroll at their Guide Dogs training school, where they will receive their formal training before graduating as fully qualified guide dogs.
The puppies are currently being cared for by Guide Dogs volunteers known as puppy walkers, who not only look after them in their homes across Scotland but also take the pups out on a daily basis to get used to the sights, sounds and smells of a variety of environments.
More than two million people are estimated to be living with sight loss in the UK today. It is predicted that by 2050, this number will double to over four million.
Craig Stewart, Corporate Partnerships Development Manager at the charity Guide Dogs, said: “We cannot thank the players of People’s Postcode Lottery enough for their support in funding this litter of guide dog puppies. They will go on to change the lives of nine people with sight loss in the UK, giving them the independence and confidence to live their life the way they want to.”
Hazel Johnstone from PPL said: “We were delighted to welcome the guide dog puppies to the People’s Postcode Lottery office today and celebrate their first birthday. I am proud that our players are able to support these pups through their training and can’t wait to follow their journey as it continues.”
To find out more about Guide Dogs visit: www.guidedogs.org.uk