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Hearing Dogs for Deaf People is urgently seeking volunteers to raise and train puppies for deaf people, as demand for its services increase by 30 per cent. The national charity, now in its fortieth year, needs dog lovers to look after its hearing dogs in training so they can help more people with hearing loss.

They train cocker spaniels, labradors, cockapoos and miniature poodles to become life-changing hearing dogs for deaf people. The clever canines alert deaf people to important and life-saving sounds such as the doorbell, alarm clock, smoke alarm and even baby monitor.

They also provide constant emotional support and companionship – helping deaf people to leave loneliness behind and reconnect with life.

Victoria Leedham, head of volunteering at Hearing Dogs for Deaf People said: “It is a fantastic opportunity to experience the joys of having a dog, without all the associated financial commitments, while making a real difference to deaf people’s lives.

“You’ll meet like-minded people, make new friends and receive lots of support from us every step of the way. If you think you can offer one of our adorable puppies a loving home, we’d love to hear from you.”

The role of a Volunteer Puppy Trainer is to provide an “excellent level of care and training for one of the charity’s cute puppies”.

Volunteers slowly introduce their puppy to new experiences and environments like supermarkets, restaurants, shops, and public transport, so the pup has the confidence to accompany a deaf person everywhere they go as an accredited assistance dog.

The trainers also attend weekly classes and learn all the necessary skills to ensure their puppy becomes a well-behaved dog before the next stage of their training where they learn how to alert deaf people to sounds.

The whole process is funded and supported by Hearing Dogs for Deaf People and each volunteer is assigned a local instructor who will provide full guidance along the way.

The charity will cover all expenses related to the puppy’s training, including food, insurance, and veterinary costs.

Who can be a Volunteer Puppy Trainer?
The role would be perfect for dog lovers living in a home with a secure garden, and plenty of time to spare every day.

You will need access to a computer and video calling facilities for online dog training classes. Unfortunately, the charity cannot consider applications from those who work full time, even if they work from home.

The charity encourages those who have had to reconsider getting a pet due to the cost of living crisis to think about looking after one of its puppies.

Shelley Evans, who volunteers for Hearing Dogs, said: “I’m very proud to be a Volunteer Puppy Trainer. It is so rewarding teaching a puppy everything they need to do to help a deaf person in the future.

“I love having a puppy around the house. They bring a lot of laughter and smiles. I thought I might want a dog of my own, but I realised I like the whole process and ethos of raising a hearing dog and plan to continue helping the Charity for years to come.

“All the costs are covered, so all you have to worry about is looking after a cute puppy, which is easy since you receive so much support and guidance from Hearing Dogs. It never ceases to amaze me how supportive they are of each puppy’s journey.”