With a better kennel, more guide dogs can be successfully trained.
The Guide Dog Kennel Appeal is an opportunity to invest in the future of guide dog training so that more Kiwis can have the support they need.
A vision for the future
Blind Low Vison NZ is the leading, internationally accredited guide dog training facility in New Zealand. For more than 130 years, we have provided support and services for New Zealanders who are blind, deafblind or have low vision.
But while we celebrate our proud past we look to the future and the needs of our community.
We have identified a growing demand for guide dogs as the population ages. To meet this challenge, our ambition is to increase the number of dogs who successfully graduate from the guide dog program by 20% to reduce the waiting time for people who need a guide dog.
The development of world-class kennels is an integral part of realising this vision. The new purpose-built kennels are the key to investing in the future success of the dogs to meet the growing demand.
The kennels have been specifically designed to provide the best learning environment for guide dogs in training.
The total cost of the project is $6 million over two years. The first phase, the groundworks, will commence in June 2022. This is entirely dependent on achieving sufficient funding in time.
Happier dogs are more successful guide dogs
The dogs have all slept well in their new kennels. They are warm and comfortable. They can see and hear each other. They’re keen to get out and play and start the day’s work. You can almost hear the dogs say, “Hey, hurry up, we’re going out and we’re learning.”
They are keen to go to the ‘play park’ and try out the gravel paths and the bush walk. Perhaps today the dogs will learn to navigate around children’s playground equipment or improve their confidence on ramps and steps.
Healthy, happy dogs are more likely to be successful guide dogs.
The wait for a guide dog is too long and the demand is growing
There are currently 180,000 New Zealanders who are blind, deafblind or have low vision. It’s estimated that due to the ageing population this number will increase to 225,000 by 2028.
The current waiting time to receive a guide dog is around two years. The anticipated increased demand over the coming years will extend the waiting time unless more dogs can be successfully trained as guide dogs.
The new kennel build is an integral part of the program to increase the number of dogs that successfully graduate from the guide dog program by 20%.
Supporters of the Guide Dog Kennel Build Appeal program are ensuring more New Zealanders will receive the guide dog they need to live independent lives.