The CNIB in Regina will be looking to raise money to train guide dogs with a gala event this weekend.
The Guide Dogs with Purpose Gala will be held at the Conexus Arts Centre on Jan. 28.
CNIB provincial director Ashley Nemeth said demand is high in Saskatchewan for guide dogs, especially during the pandemic due to the availability of other training schools.
“Being a new school, we were only able to match 16 dogs last year across Canada,” said Nemeth. “So, we’re looking to raise funds to increase the amount of dogs that we can pair with individuals in Saskatchewan and across the country with guide dogs.”
Boïh is the latest guide dog being raised by CNIB Saskatchewan. She will spend another seven months or so with her trainer, Jack Clarkson, before heading off to guide dog school in Ontario. From there, she will be matched up with her new handler to help lower a wait-list that has grown significantly during the pandemic. Boïh is the second dog to come into Clarkson’s care.
“It is kind of hard to say goodbye to them,” said Clarkson. “I always tell people it’s like your kids going off to university … you’re sad and you miss them but you’re also happy for their success knowing they are going to help somebody with vision impairment (who) will benefit from having these dogs.”
CNIB Saskatchewan is working to increase the number of dogs it trains. But it’s not an easy task. A guide dog costs around $50,000 to raise, train and care for throughout its career and the non-profit is largely powered by volunteers and donations.
“There (will be) a silent and live auction as well as a band that will be playing and some great entertainment,” Nemeth said of the gala. “Best of all, there’s going to be some puppies who will be walking the red carpet. (It’s) about supporting the program.”
For tickets and more information on the event and seeing eye dogs, visit the CNIB website.
CNIB experiencing a surge in demand for guide dogs
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