Kids back puppy appeal

17:00, Apr 04 2012
Springbank school students with guide dog
SHOWING PROMISE: Learner guide dog Ushka, an 18-month-old labrador, with trainer Melissa Andrews and Springbank School fans, from left: Sam Sutcliffe, Eva Sfakakis, Sam Horrell and Ted Houry.

The importance of guide dogs was highlighted in the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind's red puppy appeal.

Springbank School entered the fundraiser with gusto, baking puppy-shaped bikkies for humans and pooches.

It also enjoyed a visit from student guide dog Ushka and learned about the training process.

Puppy walkers socialise dogs before several months of formal training at between 12 and 14 months old.

The foundation aims to breed more than 100 puppies a year. Each one costs more than $22,500 to breed, raise, train and match to a blind person.

There is a wait of up to a year to receive a dog.

The foundation does not receive government funding for guide dog services.