Paws for Purpose

Paws for Purpose 2023 Pedigree Pup Unconditional Aroha, by artist, Anna Leylend

A Few Facts…

  • Blind Low Vision NZ’s Guide Dog service is one of the key ways people with vision loss are free to live the lives they choose with independence and safety.
  • More than just a way to get around. Anyone who relies on one will agree that a guide dog is also a loyal, devoted friend and family member.
  • Blind Low Vision NZ is the only organization that trains and breeds guide dogs for New Zealanders with vision loss, yet, we receive no government funding for this.
  • There are currently 180,000 New Zealanders who are blind, deafblind or have low vision. It’s estimated this number will increase to 225,000 by 2028.

The anticipated increased demand over the coming years will extend this waiting time unless more dogs can be successfully trained as guide dogs.

But did you know it takes nearly two years and more than $50,000 to raise and train a guide dog?

Charged with making what could potentially be life or death decisions on behalf of their handlers, our dogs have to learn some very smart skills and pass strict criteria. This requires rigorous training and support that continues long after graduation.

Paws for Purpose is a fun and creative way to raise these much-needed funds and make the world a more beautiful place in the process!


What is Paws for Purpose?

You may be be familiar with our life-sized dog coin collection boxes (also known as Trudy Dogs). As a result of our increasingly cashless society, and with retail space at a premium, many of our coin collection sites prefer smaller counter-top boxes, (which now also have QR codes). Our Trudy Dogs are now, sadly obsolete.

In 2023, we tasked some of Auckland’s most talented artists with turning these iconic pieces of Kiwiana into one-of -a kind works of art.

And they did not disappoint! Soon, our Paws for Purpose Art Dogs were on display at venues around the city. We then found them all permanent homes with the lucky winners of our Paws for Purpose Online Art Auction.

And we raised almost $70,000 in the process!


And we’re doing it again in 2024!

This time, in Ōtautahi, Christchurch!

Already, a selection of our most creative Cantabrians have taken delivery of their Trudy Dogs and are working hard to transform each one into a unique, collectible work of art.

This June and July, you’ll be seeing more dogs than usual around Christchurch, as the completed Paws for Purpose Art Dogs go on display at some of your favourite city hotspots.

Best of all, YOU will have the opportunity to  adopt your own Paws for Pupose Trudy Dog  in the Paws for Purpose Online Auction! All proceeds go toward the raising, breeding, and training of future generations of Blind Low Vision NZ Guide Dogs who will serve our growing community of blind, deafblind, and low vision Kiwis.

Details will be revealed soon…