Paw-fect puppies change lives for better

Four puppies have led the way through specialised training to graduate as Seeing Eye Dogs at a paw-fect ceremony in Parliament House today.

Minister for Disability Services Natasha Maclaren-Jones said the dogs will make a big difference to the lives of their new handlers.

“Queenie, Cleo, Yaffa and Nova have been matched with their handlers to give them more independence with everyday living,” Mrs Maclaren-Jones said.

“Both dogs and handlers have been on a journey to learn about themselves and each other, forging a unique partnership. This truly opens up a world of opportunities for those who need it most.”

The puppies were raised by volunteer carers under the guidance of a specialised handler prior to undertaking an advanced Seeing Eye Dog training program.

They were then matched with a Vision Australia client for further training to ensure they could work successfully together.

Vision Australia’s Government Relations and Advocacy Manager Chris Edwards said Seeing Eye Dogs provide a critical means of independence for people who are blind or have low vision.

“Vision Australia is a committed advocate for the blind and low vision community to raise awareness about the role and rights of Seeing Eye Dogs with handlers,” Mr Edwards said.

Mr Edwards attended the ceremony with his Seeing Eye Dog, Eva.

“We appreciate people taking the time to meet with us to better understand the challenges our community faces in being able to live the life they choose. With increased understanding, we’ll be closer to creating an inclusive society for all.”

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