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‘Our program is hurting’: Charity urgently needs volunteers to raise puppies in B.C.


A charity that raises and trains puppies to become assistance dogs said there has been a sharp drop in volunteers willing to help out in B.C.and beyond. 

In the next few months, Pacific Assistance Dogs Society estimates 35 puppies will be ready to venture into the “human world”, but there aren’t nearly enough people to show the dogs the ropes as so-called puppy raisers.

"Our programs are hurting and we need volunteers,” said communications director, Tara Doherty.

Puppy raisers take a dog home for 14 to 18 months, and the dogs need to be looked after 24 hours a day.

“They go to work, they go to school, they go to the movies, to doctor's appointments, and they’re learning how to function in this big human world,” explained Doherty.

Food and vet bills are paid by the charity, which raises funds for their care through donations.

Doherty said this drop in support is happening around the world. Last year, some 9,000 people worldwide were waiting for a dog.

Trained dogs help people who have mobility challenges, as well as the hearing and visually impaired. War veterans with PTSD also benefit from the animals.

“So the simple solution would be 'let’s not breed more dogs', but the reality is the need is greater than it’s ever been as well,” said Doherty.

The public was exceptionally generous during the pandemic. But since then, people have returned to the office and are are travelling once again - they may not have the spare time they used to.

PADS is encouraging anyone who wants to volunteer to sign-up soon, because training is needed first. Top Stories

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