Painted guide dogs have been unleashed across Auckland, as part of the Blind Low Vision NZ fundraiser; Paws for Purpose.
Over 40 artists across New Zealand, including the likes of Dick Frizzell, Ian Mune, and Dame Denise L’Estrange-Corbet, have lent their creative talents to this collaboration, aimed to help raise funds for more guide dogs. The service supports people who are blind, deafblind or have low or limited vision.
The Puppy Dog Trail is a free, interactive experience for all to enjoy during the month of March, before the final charity auction takes place at the Park Hyatt hotel.
Blind Low Vision NZ is raising money to build a new fit-for-purpose kennel, to house guide dogs in training. It is the only organisation to train and breed guide dogs for New Zealanders in need of the service.
New Zealand is home to over 180,000 people classified as legally blind and is estimated due to the ageing population, this number will only increase. Experts predict the number could be as high as 225,000 in five years’ time.
Blind Low Vision NZ breed around 100 potential guide dogs every year, of which approximately 40 will graduate. The waiting list for those in need of a guide dog’s service is up to 50 annually, with the current wait time being two years. The predicted increased demand over the coming years will only extend waiting times unless more guide dogs can be successfully trained.