Monday 7 November 2016
It’s hungry work training to be a Seeing Eye Dog, with Seeing Eye Dogs Australia (SEDA) revealing more than 200,000 tonnes of dog food has been gobbled up by Seeing Eye Dog pups and breeding dogs over the past decade – that’s than enough kibble to fill more than 200 Olympic swimming pools!
The figures come as SEDA celebrates 10 years of partnership with ROYAL CANIN®, the official nutrition provider for SEDA, donating super premium dog food to satisfy the hungry appetites of almost a thousand dogs since 2006.
And with it costing up to $50,000 to train just one Seeing Eye Dog, SEDA veterinarian Dr Nicola Cotton said ROYAL CANIN®’s support was absolutely critical to ensuring SEDA could continue to pair Seeing Eye Dogs with people who are blind or have low vision so they can go about their everyday lives.
“SEDA is a division of Vision Australia and the only national provider of Seeing Eye Dogs in Australia,” Dr Cotton said.
“Currently we have 221 Seeing Eye Dogs working across Australia however there are about 200 people on the waiting list and the wait is normally about 12 to 18 months.
“It’s only through the support of our donors and sponsors such as ROYAL CANIN® that we can continue to train Seeing Eye Dogs, and we are delighted to be celebrating 10 years with ROYAL CANIN® as they help us provide clients with independence and confidence in their day-to-day lives.”
To mark the occasion, SEDA and ROYAL CANIN® have launched an education and awareness campaign to demonstrate how the most ordinary journeys can be the most incredible with the support of a Seeing Eye Dog.
The centrepiece of the campaign is a compelling community service announcement, which features SEDA client Shelley Whyte and her Seeing Eye Dog Evan. The campaign shows that simple activities that we take for granted, such as a quick trip to buy milk or bread, could be out of reach for people who are blind or have low vision, but with a Seeing Eye Dog these ordinary journeys are made possible.
ROYAL CANIN® Scientific Services Veterinarian Dr Mina Magelakis said it was an honour to provide the best possible nutrition for SEDA’s amazing dogs to help them do their important work.
“ROYAL CANIN® has been on the most incredible journey with Seeing Eye Dogs Australia over the past 10 years, providing the best possible nutrition to help support these remarkable animals through their breeding and training programs,” Dr Magelakis said.
“We look forward to continuing the partnership with SEDA and we hope the 10-year anniversary helps to raise further awareness of the invaluable role Seeing Eye Dogs play in providing the gift of independence and freedom for a person who is blind or has low vision.”
SEDA and ROYAL CANIN® invite the public to help them celebrate their 10-year anniversary this Monday 7 November at midday at Federation Square, Melbourne.
SEDA ambassador Lauren Phillips will host the event and participate in a Blind Walk with a Seeing Eye Dog, and members of the public will also have the opportunity to participate in the walk and experience what it is like to rely on a Seeing Eye Dog to get about in daily life. Attendees will also be the first to see the campaign community service announcement, which will be aired on the big screen.
The event will feature SEDA clients, who will explain firsthand just how much confidence a Seeing Eye Dog can bring to the lives of someone who is blind or has low vision. There will also be an opportunity to meet some of the adorable Seeing Eye Dog puppies, receive free ROYAL CANIN® samples and meet both Dr Magelakis and Dr Cotton, who will be on hand to answer any questions about Seeing Eye Dogs.
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Media contact: Amy McAlister, 0430 188 528, firstname.lastname@example.org
View the campaign at: http://healthypets.royalcanin.com.au/seda