Insufficient grants for doggy business

Posted: May 18, 2012 by cdixo in Pets and Family

Casper (Seeing eye dog) relaxing after a day of work

By Colette Dixon 

Guide Dogs Victoria has grown over the last four decades and need more funds than ever before. These Guide Dogs receive less than 8% of funding from the government and rely enormously on the generosity of donors.

Trainers with Guide Dogs at Flinder’s station  

Guide Dogs not only assist people who are blind or have a vision impairment to gain the freedom and independence but are needed to move safely and confidently around the community and therefore these four legged paws need a good amount of money to breed, train and to provide all the necessary provision.

“Ralph’s, guiding techniques have enabled me to move through the environment, safely and confidently. I don’t know what I would have done without him. I think the government should do more than just fund ‘Guide Dogs of Victoria’, because without these smart fellows around, people like me who are visually impaired or disabled, suffer greatly”, says Calvin

Raising money for Guide Dogs

Ralph after a day of work

The help required, usually comes from the community. Fund raising is done by schools and some organisations to support the vital work of Guide Dogs in Victoria, they also organise donations and events to raise money.

The government needs to chip in a bit more to assist the Guide Dogs of Victoria organisations, by helping them to attain the training they need to change lives.

“Currently there is only little government funding made available for us, for breeding, raising and training our Guide Dogs. Though we depend on donations we also require more contribution from the government to help puppies on their journey to becoming a confident Guide dog, and to change lives”, says Brett an employee from the Guide Dog association in Victoria.

A charity event for the Guide Dog Association at Flinder’s

Guide Dogs for the impaired provide an enhanced mobility to individuals and whose unique skills are developed and nurtured by dedicated volunteers and a professional staff.

It costs the Guide Dogs of Victoria, $30,000 and up to two years to breed and train each Guide Dog. However, the impact they make to someone’s life is priceless.

  1. mschneiders says:

    Lovely set of images to accompany your story Collette. I got a sense of these individual dogs being significant in their owner’s lives. You also highlight the challenges around funding organisations such as Guide Dogs face. This is true of so many community based organisations. Thanks, Mara

  2. Karisa McCauley says:

    Hi Collette,
    This is a really solid story. I would love to see some footage of the Guide Dogs in training to show just how much work goes in to training each dog. This is something you may be able to take yourself, or you could find on the web – I think I have seen it used in news and current affairs programs before.
    Good work.

  3. sam says:

    Hi, you have mentioned Guide dogs Victoria but taken most of the pictures of dogs trained by Seeing Eye dogs Australia, a rival organisation…………..
    [tx Sam for pointing that out, I will see if I can contact the student to get a correction. Our apologies. MH – editor]

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