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Freedom To Roam: Support Blind Low Vision NZ Guide Dogs To Give New Zealanders Confidence And Independence

In the last two years, having the freedom to leave our homes has become more important than ever. However, for many blind, deafblind, and low vision New Zealanders, freedom to roam safely and independently relies on the support of their guide dog.

Hundreds of New Zealanders hope to one day be paired with their own guide dog, and to do that, Blind Low Vision NZ Guide Dogs needs your help.

This year, Blind Low Vision NZ hopes to raise $600,000 during its annual Guide Dog Puppy Appeal, 25-26 March, while also raising public awareness on the importance of these life-changing dogs

It costs around $175,000 to raise, train and keep one guide dog in service and the organisation receives no government funding.

With the help of donations, Blind Low Vision NZ Guide Dogs can continue to breed and train the next generation of guide dogs so more blind, deafblind, and low vision New Zealanders can live the lives they choose.

Blind Low Vision NZ client Sue was born with an inherited eye condition called retinitis pigmentosa. Over the years, her night blindness has reduced to only seeing a pinprick of light in one eye.

After experiencing several close calls from her worsening eyesight, Sue realised she needed more than a white cane to keep her from getting into a serious accident.

“When Yazz arrived, it was almost like he knew that this was his forever home,” Sue says.

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Having Yazz has enabled Sue to continue her daily events, and maintain voluntary positions on local health and disability organisations.

Yazz has memorised all of Sue’s favourite shops and by making sure Sue arrives without harm, Yazz is the bodyguard everyone hopes for.

“It’s the difference between a much smaller life spent largely at home, and the full life of independence that Yazz has given me. The amount of effort he goes to keep me safe is amazing,” Sue says.

To meet the fundraising goal of $600,000 this year, Blind Low Vision NZ Chief Executive John Mulka says every donation counts.

“With no government funding, Blind Low Vision NZ Guide Dogs relies purely on the community’s help during our appeal. We are committed to delivering guide dogs to blind, deafblind, and low vision New Zealanders to enable them the opportunity to live a full and independent life,” Mulka says.

Heroes for those with vision loss, guide dogs play an essential role in keeping people happy and safe. From the donations received during the Guide Dog Puppy Appeal, Blind Low Vision NZ is able to maintain the incredible team of nutritionists, breeders, trainers and support workers who train the puppies into highly skilled and reliable guide dogs.

To donate online and learn more about Blind Low Vision NZ’s Guide Dog Puppy Appeal, visit:

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