Some special dogs will be fetching plenty of attention at the launch of the Donegal branch of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind this Friday in Letterkenny.
A big paw-ty will take place in Letterkenny Shopping Centre from 10am to celebrate a new era for the organisation in Donegal.
Shoppers will get the opportunity to meet two ambassador dogs and Sybil, the guide dog of Buncrana woman Jennifer Doherty, will also be in attendance.
The Donegal branch of Irish Guide Dogs has been set up to connect current clients, raise awareness of the organisation and fundraise for the training and care of life-changing dogs.
There are 14 working dogs in Donegal – seven assistance dogs for children with autism and seven guide dogs for people with visual impairments.
The newly launched branch will be led by Jennifer Doherty, Lesley Newberry and Michelle Healy.
Lynda Foley, regional fundraising coordinator said the branch is about bringing a community together: “It is important to have a hub to link clients in the county. The Irish Guide Dogs HQ is in Cork, so having a branch in Donegal will help to link the 14 clients here and encourage social interaction and the sharing of information.”
“We have a lot of clients in Donegal, so this is about increasing the visibility of the organisation.”
Friday’s launch at Letterkenny Shopping Centre will be an op-paw-tunity for the public to meet staff, volunteers, guide dog owners and the dogs. Merchandise will be on sale along with fundraising raffle tickets. There will be volunteer sign-up sheets if anyone wishes to support the cause.
People will also be able to book a visit and talk for their workplace or school/ college.
“With 70 branches in the Republic of Ireland, we have a large volunteer community of like-minded people. It is perfect for dog lovers and people who want to get involved in a community project,” Ms Foley added.
Check out the Facebook page for more info: Donegal Branch of Irish Guide Dogs