Battleford Lions are hosting a Purina Walk for Dog Guides, Sunday, May 29.
Registration is from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at the Lions Clubhouse at 162- 22nd St. in Battleford. The Walk begins at 2 p.m.
Funds raised are used to support the Lions' Dog Guide Program. Dogs are trained to assist people who are blind, deaf, or who have physical disabilities. Dogs can also help autistic children and people suffering from epilepsy. Come and enjoy a lovely walk. Dogs are welcome, too.
The Lions Foundation of Canada trains five different types of dog guides to help Canadians: canine vision dog guides for people who are blind or visually impaired; hearing ear dogs guides for people who are deaf or hard of hearing; special skills dog guides for people with a medical or physical disability; seizure response dog guides for people who have epilepsy; and autism assistance dog guides for children with autism.
Since 1983, over 1,600 people in Canada have benefited from being matched with a dog guide. Since November 2010 there were 48 dog-client matches. Thirteen dogs were matched with children suffering from autism, three were matched to assist people with special needs, seven were dogs assigned to assist hearing disabled clients and six were to assist clients who had epileptic seizures. Since January 2011, there have been seven matches with dogs and visually impaired clients and 12 matches with clients who need dogs with special skills.
While considering it takes over $20,000 to train each dog, it is apparent there is a need to raise funds for this program. The dog is provided free of charge to each client who is accepted into the program. The Lions Foundation believes no one should be denied their independence, and so the necessary funds are raised by donations and events like the Dog Guide Walk.
To participate in the Battlefords dog walk call 306-937-7147 to obtain a pledge form or come in person to the Battleford Lions' Clubhouse on the day of the walk. All fitness levels are welcome and all dogs on leashes are welcome.