ROY Keane has praised the work of the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind as he launched their Annual HEROES Appeal on Tuesday at the Tyndall Institute.
“Over the years, I have witnessed the incredible bond between these heroic dogs and their owners, a partnership which transforms and saves lives,” he said.
“It is amazing to be here in Tyndall to see how the work they do can have an impact on a family with autism or a person with a vision impairment.”
The Annual Heroes fundraising campaign, which begins on April 6, will see volunteers and staff collecting nationwide. The funds raised will go towards training guide dogs and assistance dogs.
“I am delighted to support the HEROES appeal for Irish Guide Dogs,” Roy said.
“This project will help us create future heroes. I’m asking the public to please support Irish Guide Dogs so that more people can enjoy the freedom and independence that these wonderful dogs provide.”
Tyndall National Institute was chosen as the location for the launch as they are supporting Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind in developing new technologies that they hope will support training and help create more guide and assistance dogs partnerships. The project, titled Guide Dog 4.0, is designed to help identify potential guide and assistance dogs earlier in the training process, to remotely monitor dog health and to help shorten the period taken to train a dog.
Padraig Mallon, CEO of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind said: “Our goal is to raise more than €150,000 from our HEROES appeal. We see every day the life-changing effects our dogs have on our clients and we understand how hard it is for those waiting for our services. We want to get to these people sooner and the funds raised in April will be a great help.”
This year’s HEROES appeal is also being supported by Ford Ireland, whose Managing Director Ciarán McMahon said: “We are hugely proud of the long-standing partnership with Irish Guide Dogs – the charity’s work is literally life-changing.”
There will be on street collection in Cork City on April 7 and 12 or anyone who wants to donate can do so at guidedogs.ie or by texting WOOF to 50300 to donate €4.