Fundraiser for Guide Dog program unleashed at Lions’ den

Mickey Dumont

The Portage Citizen —

The Lions Foundation of Canada’s mission to assist Canadians with a medical or physical disability by providing them dog guides at no cost came to heel in Portage la Prairie on May 27 with the PetValu Walk For Guide Dogs walk.

“All of our dogs cost a minimum of $25,000. This walk is one way we help raise money to cover that cost,” said Portage Lion Anita Hart.

The Lions Foundation train six different kinds of service dogs: canine vision, hearing, seizure response, service, autism assistance and diabetic alert dogs.

Lions here have been involved in the Walk For Guide Dogs fundraiser for almost 25 years. A local resident is on the list for a hearing dog. “Hopefully she will get that dog soon,” Hart said.

“Last year the foundation trained 182 dogs. So that many teams were trained and that many lives were improved,” she said.

While 25 walkers registered to participate here, The PetValu Walk For Guide Dogs took place simultaneously in over 300 Canadian communities. Organizers were hoping to raise about $4,500. “We usually raise anywhere between $4,500 and $6,500,” she said. “We’re usually in the top 10 groups across Canada for money raised.”

Portage la Prairie, MacGregor and Oakville Lions clubs paired with the La Prairie Lioness Club to organize the fun and furry and walk.

PAWS also participated in promoting pet welfare and merchandise from the guide dog foundation was available for purchase.

PetValu was the national sponsor of the walk in 2018, but locally the Lions clubs and the Lioness enjoyed support from Mac Kennels, Our Farm and the city and RM of Portage la Prairie.

The Lions and Lioness clubs are always welcoming new members to help with its community enrichment efforts. “We always love to have new members, new ideas and fresh pairs of hands,” Hart said.

If interested, call Anita Hart 204-333-7622, e-mail or on Facebook, portageprairielions.

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