When you are young two of the most important things to you are:
- Fitting in with your friends
- Being independent of your parents.
Visually impaired young people, however, are often made to feel different and isolated. Without the independence that comes from mobility, they are in constant need of a helper. Getting together with friends and even going to school requires assistance. They can’t do all of the things that their visually able friends do on their own. Pawsitive Assistance Dogs is about to change this … AND YOU CAN HELP.
The Algarve’s expert Dog Behaviourist, Karin Holmström Forster, has worked with people and their wellbeing all of her life. Through her love for dogs and an urge to give something back, Karin became an Assistance Dog Trainer and helped form the association Alertalegria – Associação de Cães de Assistência Internacional Association Assistance Dogs International.
Karin has the unique opportunity this summer to take 2 dogs to train with Alan Brooks, one of the UK´s most experienced Guide Dog trainers.
After the dogs are qualified GUIDE DOGS, Karin”s organization Pawsitive Dogs Algarve will donate them to two young visually impaired individuals living in Portugal. Currently guide dogs cost about 20K Euros each In the the past, Portugal provided 67% of the cost of a guide dog to families in need. Today there is no funding!
The challenges for families in Portugal with a disabled member are very high and they have very little support from the government. Medical costs are high. And specialist treatments often mean extensive travel within or even outside of Portugal. This puts an enormous strain on already economically burdened families and their children. Buying a Guide Dog can therefore be out of the question.
Our project to train 2 Guide Dogs this summer has just begun (in May 2017) and will conclude in November, when the training has finished.
There are multiple aspects to this project:
- Raising money to support Karin and the dogs during the three months of training
- Matching two visually impaired young people and their families with the two trained dogs
- Supporting a two-month transition (hand-over-training) period for both the visually impaired person and their new dog
- Ongoing support to ensure success.
With your contribution the lives 2 of the 1000 visually impaired in Portugal will change!
If you really want to make the difference in the life of another person,
This is your opportunity!