By SHANNON POWER
WYNDHAM residents are on alert for a cute overload.
The volunteers, known as raisers, will train a puppy for about 18 months.
The advantage for Wyndham locals in becoming a raiser is having access to leading trainer Mrs Dee Moore.
She is based in Werribee, which she believes is a great asset for local raisers.
Raisers and their puppies attend weekly training sessions, which change to fortnightly after six months.
Mrs Moore is also available around the clock by phone to assist volunteers.
The dogs are trained to complete a range of tasks from taking clothes out of a washing machine, to paying for items at a shop and to sound an alarm if their person is hurt by barking until help arrives.
The dogs also provide a feeling of safety and can help break the social isolation for people living with a disability.
“Some people won’t look a person with a disability in the eye. The dogs are good for breaking down barriers, relaxing people around wheelchairs,” Mrs Moore said.
“For people who can’t shake hands, their dogs are trained to shake for them.”
There are many advantages to becoming a raiser.
Mrs Moore believes the sense of achievement when a dog graduates training is a proud moment.
When asked why someone should become a raiser Mrs Moore said: “You’re putting something back into the community. It’s very rewarding itself, taking on this puppy which eventually will help people later.”
For more information visit http://www.assistancedogs.org.au