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Peachland set to walk for dog guides

Wade Ireland stands with his guide dog, Cher. Ireland is the chairman for this year
Wade Ireland stands with his guide dog, Cher. Ireland is the chairman for this year's Purina Walk for Dog Guides, which will be held in Peachland on May 27.
— image credit: Douglas Farrow / Contributor

Man’s best friend can be more than just a loyal companion.

For those like Wade Ireland, a service dog can help provide safety, security and peace of mind.

When asked how important his hearing service dog, Cher, has been to him, he said, “She’s made a huge difference in my security—I can go out the door safely and I don’t have to worry about walking in traffic.”

The Purina Walk for Dog Guides will be held at Lambley Park in Peachland on May 27.

The national fundraising event is held in over 250 communities across Canada and raises funds to help train dog guides for Canadians with visual, hearing, medical or physical disabilities.

It is put on by volunteers and the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides: A charitable organization that tries to help Canadians with medical or physical disabilities by providing them with dog guides at no cost.

Ireland is the chairman of this year’s event.

He said that the money raised from the Purina Walk for Dog Guides can go a long way.

“My dog is worth about $30,000 and all that funding came from walks across Canada.”

According to Ireland, it costs anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000 to train a service dog.

“The dogs go to people who make an application to their physician because of their disability, in order to enhance their lifestyle, security and safety. The dogs go to these people completely free of charge—there are no fees involved in any way, shape or form.”

Ireland said that Peachland’s event helped local Lions clubs bring in over $60,000 last year to supply three dogs to individuals with disabilities.

He added that the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides does not receive any government support; therefore, the organization relies on fundraisers such as this to help those in need.

Those interested in getting involved with the event can visit www.walkfordogguides.com.

wpaterson@kelownacapnews.com

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