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Guide Dogs ‘Dig’ New Breeding Centre

Guide Dogs ‘Dig’ New Breeding Centre

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From left, RNZFB Breeding Services Coordinator Helen Grant with Golden Labrador Harper, RNZFB Breeding Services Manager Melinda Dawson with German Shepherd Dell, Divisional Manager of Adaptive Living, Helen McKenzie, RNZFB Chairman Don McKenzie, guide dog Senna, and Don’s wife Rosemary McKenzie.

Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind (RNZFB)
Media Release
30 January 2008

Guide Dogs ‘Dig’ New Breeding Centre

On Thursday, 24 January, over 50 staff, members and friends of the RNZFB gathered for an unusual groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the new guide dog breeding centre in Manurewa.

In a twist to befit the occasion and the four-legged VIPs present, two of the Foundation’s breeding stock dogs, German Shepherd Dell and Golden Labrador Harper, broke the ground, digging for treats.

The new breeding centre, due for completion in August 2008 will mean more space to breed approximately 110 guide dog puppies each year.

Helen McKenzie, Divisional Manager of Adaptive Living, says, “Our staff do an outstanding job. We’re delighted at the opportunity to build modern facilities which will allow us to expand and introduce the latest international programmes in early puppy development. We’ve simply outgrown the old breeding centre, and we are keen to move in!”

Funding for the $1m-plus facility is being provided by private donors and charitable trusts. An $865,000 grant was received from an anonymous donor, $457,000 from the Lillian Valder Charitable Trust, and a $227,000 grant is to be provided by the ASB Community Trust.


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