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10 December 2018

Hand up to make on-site vet clinic a reality for Guide Dogs Queensland

Filed under: Latest News

More Queenslanders with low or no vision will be empowered to lead more independent lives, with Guide Dogs Queensland being given a hand up to meet the demand for its services into the future.

Just recently, the not-for-profit organisation received a $230,000 Significant Grant from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland which will go towards the construction of an on-site veterinary clinic at their Bald Hills breeding and training centre.

With guide dog breeding numbers set to grow by 70% over the next couple of years, a dedicated onsite clinic will help to reduce expenses by as much as 60%. Currently external vet bills are costing the organisation close to $220,000 each year.

Guide Dogs Queensland Chief Executive Officer Michael Kightley said the initiative would have a lasting impact on the organisation – setting them up for the future.

“When it costs $50,000 to breed, raise, train and match a Guide Dog with an individual with low or no vision, these savings could be translated to an additional 24 Guide Dogs over the next five years,” Michael Said.

“Having an in-house veterinary program will also mean that we would be able to offer comprehensive healthcare to all working Guide Dogs in the greater Brisbane region, not just those in the breeding and training program.”

“These savings will allow us to develop innovative new programs and strengthen existing programs to empower our clients to lead safer, more independent lives,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said they were already aware of the difference Guide Dogs Queensland was making in the community, through its Masonic Lodges who have provided grassroots support over many years, in particular United Tradesmen’s Lodge (Ipswich) and later Redcliffe First Settlement Lodge (Redcliffe) with their Dining in the Dark fundraisers.

“At a grassroots level, Masonic Lodges and Hand Heart Pocket have collectively donated well over $50,000 to Guide Dogs Queensland to help purchase vital equipment,” Gary said.

“Our support of this latest initiative, will help to fill the funding gap, enabling Guide Dogs Queensland to meet the demand and be sustainable in the long term. It’s our pleasure to provide a hand up so that more Queenslanders with low or no vision can lead better lives,” he said.

Photo: Following many years of support at a grassroots level, Guide Dogs Queensland has received a $230,000 Significant Grant towards the construction of an on-site veterinary clinic. 

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