In March, the community of Orange successfully fundraised the $35,000 needed to breed, raise and train a Guide Dog, and to celebrate Guide Dogs NSW/ACT is calling on locals to help choose a name for the pup.

Over the period of six months, the Rotary Club of Orange North held a number of community fundraising events and together with sponsorships from many local businesses exceeded the goal of raising $35,000 for Guide Dogs NSW/ACT in order to support the training of a Guide Dog puppy.

The initiative was spearheaded by Orange local David Driscoll and his wife Julie-Anne, who were inspired by a talk given by Guide Dogs NSW/ACT at Rotary meeting. Rebecca Hedger, Community Fundraising Coordinator for Guide Dogs NSW/ACT said this is the first time one community in NSW has come together to reach such an ambitious target.

“Although David and the Rotary Club lead the charge for this fundraising campaign, the entire Orange community rallied around the cause. The success of this initiative is testament to the power of local communities and the team at Guide Dogs are incredibly grateful for the town’s support,” said Mrs Hedger.

“It costs over $35,000 and takes two years to breed, raise and train a single Guide Dog puppy. Currently only one in four people who need a Guide Dog has one and this contribution will allow Guide Dogs NSW/ACT to continue to provide services to people with vision loss in the community.”

The puppy is due to be born in early June and once it reaches seven weeks of age it will be placed with a Puppy Raiser in Sydney, who will care for it for a further 12 months. Once 14-months-old, the puppy will return to the Guide Dog Centre for five months of intensive training to become a Guide Dog.

To enter the competition to name the guide dog puppy, visit www.guidedogs.com.au/orangepuppy, suggest a name and tell us in 25 words or less the reason why you picked it. The person who suggests the winning name will receive a dog lovers’ hamper pack, valued at $350.

The competition closes midnight 31 May 2017.