Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Lions Foundation of Canada – Dog Guides

The question "How much do you get paid for fostering a Dog Guide puppy?" has been asked a few times lately, and I feel that I should mention that here.

Foster homes do not get paid, but all vetting is covered by the organization and food is donated by Purina. The foster homes pay for collars, leashes, toys. They pay for cleaning supplies & grooming as well. There is also a $100 deposit for a crate and vest when you pick up your puppy. This money is returned when the dog is recalled, or it can be transferred to another puppy.

Dog Guides are always looking for new foster homes. If you've ever admired the cute puppies in malls and wished you could do it too, there is a big possibility you can!

You don't need to have any dog experience. The Dog Guide staff tell you anything you need to know, are always a phone call away and have monthly classes to cover any concerns. They do require that you have the ability to attend the monthly classes and vet appointments. These are held at the Breslau Kennel or the Oakville office. I'd say half of them are held on a weekday so you have to take a vacation day or have the ability to move your schedule around. The schedule is handed out the day you pick up your puppy so you have all year to prepare for these classes.

Your main goal is to teach basic obedience and to get the puppy exposed to everything in life, from people to escalators.

To become a foster family you must contact Dog Guides, fill out the application and be approved. (Applications can be found on www.DogGuides.com)

Once approved you wait for your puppy. I got Cyder a week or two after I applied, I wasn't expecting it to happen that quickly! On the other hand I waited nearly a year for Kwik because there weren't any Poodle litters the times I could foster. The Dog Guide breeding program focuses on Labs, Poodles and Border Terriers, yet many other breeds are donated by breeders.

"But how do you give them up at the end?!" This one can be hard, but you know it's for a good cause and you foster your puppy knowing it isn't yours. Some foster families overlap their dogs, as one is recalled they are working on puppy training another. There is always the opportunity to get them back if they disqualify, a bitter-sweet situation for many I'm sure. In the end we all want the dogs to pass and go onto a life of service.

It's very satisfying to know you've played a part in helping someone live a more independent life.

THERE ARE MANY WAYS YOU CAN HELP!

Foster a puppy

Adopt a disqualified dog - Dogs are disqualified at all stages of their training for many reasons. Often the foster family can't adopt them because they have too many dogs, or want to keep fostering puppies, so the dog needs to find another home. The adoption fee is based on why they are disqualified. Contact Dog Guides for an application.

Sponsor a team or make a donation

Encourage corporate involvement

Organize or participate in your local Purina Walk for Dog Guides.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

1-800-768-3030 • 905-842-2891
www.DogGuides.com


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