Amidst a national shortage of guide dogs, The Seeing Dogs Alliance (SDA) has taken up the noble task of providing an alternative source of assistance to blind individuals, aiming to alleviate the two-year waiting period they currently face. Recognizing the urgent need faced by thousands of blind and partially sighted people, the small yet dedicated charity has launched a fundraising campaign to tackle the scarcity of trained guide dogs and bring relief to those in need.
The scarcity of dogs and trainers in the field has resulted in blind individuals enduring a lengthy wait of up to two years before being matched with a fully trained guide dog. Consequently, countless individuals are deprived of the independence, confidence, and companionship that a guide dog brings. For some, this unfortunate situation has led to a life confined within the walls of their homes, preventing them from achieving the independent lifestyle they strive for or have grown accustomed to.
The Seeing Dogs Alliance is uniquely positioned to address the pressing issue of the guide dog waiting list. The charity prides itself on offering a personalized service to its blind clients, ensuring that dogs and their new owners train together to establish a vital working relationship. Furthermore, as guide dogs near the end of their working lives, The Seeing Dogs Alliance remains committed to ensuring a seamless transition by providing a new dog ready to take up the harness.
Neil Ewart, a Trustee of The Seeing Dogs Alliance, expressed their ambitious goal, stating, “We aim to raise £100,000 within the next twelve months, enabling us to expand our dog training operations and transform the lives of blind individuals. With the guide dog community struggling to meet the growing demand, and the generous support of our donors, we are well-positioned to make a meaningful difference.”
Training a fully qualified seeing dog requires approximately £20,000 and a year’s worth of dedicated efforts. Donations towards this cause can be made through The Seeing Dogs Alliance’s website (seeingdogs.org.uk), with the assurance that 100% of the funds raised will be directly allocated to the training of seeing dogs.