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Local Lions Club Prepares for Annual Dog Walk

by Shanine Sealey

On Sunday, May 27th, the Martensville & District Lions Club will be hosting the 4th annual Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides. Each year, these walks take place across the country, and 100% of all funds raised go towards providing dog guides to qualified applicants at no cost. In last year’s walk, the Lions Club brought in over $12,000 and has high hopes to raise even more this year.

There are six disciplines of guide dogs trained; autism, seizure response, diabetic alert, special service, hearing, and sight and training. It is a highly expensive necessity in order to provide dog guides for people requiring these services. “Dog Guides are specially trained service dogs which make a wonderful difference in the lives of people across Canada, providing safety, increased mobility, and greater independence,” organizer and Lions Club member, Doug Ward explained. Each dog guide costs approximately $25,000 to train from puppy to working adult and since 1983, the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides Program has been helping provide Canadians with guide dogs.

The Martensville & District Lions Club has worked tirelessly over the years to bring this option to local families that require dog guide assistance. In recent years, the organization provided sponsorship to a Warman family in order to help them see life altering improvements with Ivan, the autism assistance service dog and they have hopes to continue to provide aid to other local families by raising money through the Walk for Dog Guides. “These fundraising efforts go to a great cause and we hope to be able to sponsor another service dog in our area. They are truly life changing for not only the individual, but for the family as well,” said Ward.

The walk, which is a family friendly event open to everyone, will take place in Kinsmen Park, with registration beginning at 2pm, and the walk commencing at 3pm. Following the walk, there will be a BBQ. For more information on this event, or to register, visit https://www.walkfordogguides.com.

The Purina Walk for Dog Guides has gained steady momentum over 30 years, last year raising more than $1,630,000 nationally. Thanks to lead sponsor Nestle Purina PetCare, 100 per cent of funds raised goes directly into Dog Guide programming, offsetting the cost of breeding, training and placing Dog Guides, and allowing the organization to provide them at no cost to Canadians who benefit from their assistance. All walk participants will be entered into a draw to win various incentive prizes, provided by Purina Walk for Dog Guides sponsors, and a free barbecue will be held.

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