On Wednesday 2 November, Guide Dogs WA celebrated 13 very special working dogs and their contribution to the Western Australian community at a Graduation Ceremony. This unique event provided an opportunity to recognise Guide Dogs Berry, Violet, Dunkley, Archie, Sheba, Elsa and Joel, Autism Assistance Dogs Jasmine, Lulu, Ian, Theo and Nyah as well as Guide Dogs WA inaugural brood, Janet.
Guide and Assistance Dogs provide hope, independence, inclusion and opportunity – they are life-changing to their handlers and their family. It takes more than two years and costs over $50,000 to train a Guide or Assistance Dog. Guide Dogs WA relies on the generosity of the Western Australian community to fund the training program, so that every person can live the life they deserve.
The Graduation Ceremony also acknowledged the volunteers who contribute many hours to ensure each dog’s successful journey in the training program. Throughout the course of the evening there were heart-warming reunions between the dogs and those who opened their hearts and their homes to give them the best possible opportunity to transform the lives of people living with low vision, disability or illness.
Anna Presser, Chief Executive Officer of Guide Dogs WA says the Graduation Ceremony was a wonderful and warm way to celebrate the significant impact Guide and Assistance Dogs have on the lives of those they support.
“This was the first Graduation Ceremony we have held in 12 months as a result of COVID-19 and it was a special opportunity to acknowledge so many of our amazing dogs at our biggest Graduation Ceremony ever. It is a privilege to be able to share the journey of the dogs within our Guide, Autism Assistance and Breeding Programs with the Western Australian community who are always so generous in their support of our work,” Ms Presser says.
Guide Dogs WA has been changing lives in Western Australia for more than 70 years and acknowledges all graduates for their significant contribution to Western Australians living with low vision, disability or illness.
View a recording of the Graduation Ceremony: https://livestream.com/accounts/30045108/events/10661955