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Carers and allies celebrate International Guide Dog Day 2024

Held on the last Wednesday of April each year, International Guide Dog Day honours and celebrates the contributions of Guide Dogs and Seeing Eye Dogs around the world.

Commuters passing through Flinders Street Station in Melbourne today are in for a very cute surprise. Vision Australia is hosting a meet-and-greet event with puppies entering the Seeing Eye Dogs program, as part of International Guide Dog Day celebrations.

International Guide Dog Day honours the invaluable contributions of Guide Dogs and Seeing Eye Dogs around the world, and aims to increase awareness about the vital role Guide Dogs play in empowering individuals who are blind or have low vision to lead independent lives.

Vision Australia is the only national provider, trainer, and breeder of Seeing Eye Dogs in Australia. Each year, they breed and train over 200 puppies to provide support to blind and low vision people. But they can’t do it without the help of puppy carers, who provide socialisation and basic training over the first twelve months of the puppy’s life.

“The earlier we can place a puppy with a carer, the earlier they can start learning the skills and behaviours they need to be a Seeing Eye Dog,” says Jane Bradley, Manager of Puppy Development.

“Not only do our carers get to welcome an adorable puppy into their home, but they also get to feel good knowing they’ve helped to potentially change the life of someone who is blind or has low vision.”

Commuters and passersby will have the chance to chat with Seeing Eye Dogs puppy development trainers and other puppy carers about what is involved in becoming a puppy carer and how to apply. If you’re not in the area, you can find out more on the Vision Australia Seeing Eye Dogs website.

Two Seeing Eye Dog puppies in vests sitting and looking towards the camera giving very cute puppy dog eyes
Get cute puppy cuddles and learn more about becoming a carer for a Seeing Eye Dog trainee at Flinders Street Station this International Guide Dog Day.

Become an Access Ally for Guide Dogs Australia

Becoming a puppy carer isn’t for everyone, but everyone has a role to play. This International Guide Dog Day, 24 April, Guide Dogs Australia is encouraging everyone to learn the law regarding the legal rights of Guide Dogs and their handlers.

People accompanied by Guide Dogs are permitted to travel on any form of public transport (including taxis, busses, and planes), enter healthcare and medical suites, visit any theatre, eat in any restaurant, and shop in any store (including supermarkets and food stores). All too often, they are refused entry by people unfamiliar with their legal rights.

Guide Dogs Australia calls upon everyone to become a Guide Dog Access Ally, with a range of resources and information available on their website.

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