Everyone loves to turn a negative into a positive, so what's the best way to turn a negative such as a stray dog being impounded? Train them into hearing dogs that help hearing impaired people.
A recent example was two unclaimed cross-breed dogs which came to the Port Pirie pound and provided to Lions Hearing Dogs last week, while another two who previously were handed over to the organisation have passed their training.
That training doesn't come cheap as each Lions hearing dog costs approximately $30,000 to train to certified hearing dog level. This includes the ongoing support the training centre offers throughout the life of the dog.
Lance Leak, Treasurer of Port Pirie Lions Club said the Lions Hearing Dogs program which started in 1983 is ‘a vital program that helps hearing impaired people with things so many of us take for granted.’ The Lions club assists with the cost of application which is important in getting the ball rolling.
Heather Harrison, co-owner of YP Puppy Rescue said the entire process of taking dogs from the pound to the Lions Club takes considerable work. All dogs who enter the selection process are health checked, temperament tested, vaccinated and desexed. Taking dogs without a home to help hearing impaired people is ‘a rewarding process not just for the people you help but the dogs too’, added Harrison.
A Port Pirie Regional Council spokesperson said the council ‘is pleased to be able to work with YP Puppy rescue and commends Heather on her dedication to animals in need.’
However there's an important message for all dog owners - not all impounded dogs are fortunate enough to enter this program.
“Council would like to remind people that an animal is a commitment for many years and there are a number of factors that need to be considered when you decide to welcome a pet into your family.”