Volunteers needed to help train puppies
A charity urgently needs volunteers in Stamford and surrounding areas to help train and socialise hearing dog puppies that will go on to change lives.
Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, a national charity that trains dogs to alert deaf people to important and even life-saving sounds, needs dog-loving volunteers to take home a puppy and help it in its first steps of training.
The charity has seen an influx of hearing dog puppies born during the summer that need to be placed in homes for 14 to 16 months from autumn, so that they can be socialised and experience all the sights and sounds they will regularly come across as working hearing dogs.
There is currently a shortage of volunteers in Stamford and the surrounding areas which means that the charity is not able to train as many life-changing dogs as it could do until homes for the puppies have been found.
There are currently more than 10 working hearing dogs already changing the lives of deaf people in a 20 mile radius of Stamford and Hearing Dogs for Deaf People is dedicated to increasing this number but needs help.
The role of a puppy socialiser volunteer is to ensure that the puppy they are matched with gets a good level of training and experience before it enters the next stage of its life.
They take the puppy into as many different environments as possible, such as shops, on public transport, cafés and in and around busy towns.
This gives the young dogs the confidence to accompany a deaf person everywhere they go when they become a hearing dog.
Puppy socialisers also provide the puppies with house training and obedience skills and take them to weekly puppy classes.
The whole process is funded and supported by Hearing Dogs for Deaf People and each puppy socialiser is assigned a local instructor who will provide full support along the way.
Stamford resident Judy Sewell, who currently volunteers as a puppy socialiser for the charity, said volunteering was an incredibly rewarding experience as the dog would go on to change the life of a deaf person by acting as their ears and providing lots of emotional support.
“Socialising a puppy is a commitment – I liken it to having a full-time job – but it is incredibly fun and worthwhile and the support you get along the way is fantastic,” she said.
“I’m currently socialising a seven-month-old spaniel pup called Prince and am loving every moment of it.”
The role would suit anyone who is able to drive or has access to a car driven by someone else, has a secure private garden, enough time to train a puppy daily, and who is not away from home for more than two to three hours at a time.
For further information visit www.hearingdogs.org.uk/volunteering/puppy-socialising or contact Hearing Dogs for Deaf People’s volunteering team at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01844 348122.