On May 30, residents from the area will be walking to help change the lives of Canadians with disabilities by participating in the 25th anniversary of the Purina Walk for Dog Guides.
Walkers will meet at Forfar ball park on Gartshore Street at 1pm to begin the walk. There is no registration fee and people of all fitness levels, ages, and abilities are welcome to participate – with or without a dog.
The Purina Walk for Dog Guides in Fergus is one of over 200 communities walking in support of Dog Guides this year. the Lions Foundation of Canada provides each dog guide at no cost to Canadians with disabilities. The goal is to raise a million dollars to help fund the growing demand for dog guides.
The Walk’s title sponsor, Nestlé Purina PetCare, along with national sponsors Slice, Maracle Press, Dogs in Canada, Sibtech Creations, Phillip Stirling Projects, and Jasonkb Photography help make it possible for one hundred per cent of the funds raised to go directly towards the five different dog guide training programs.
The special skills dog guide program is one that the Walk helps fund. Established in 1991, the program was developed to assist Canadians with medical and physical disabilities. Trained to retrieve dropped items and open and close doors, special skills dog guides help increase their handler’s sense of independence and mobility on a daily basis.
To help ensure more Canadians benefit from the independence, the walk’s website provides everyone the opportunity to help.
“The great thing about the walk is that anyone can help contribute. Even if you can’t make it out to the walk, you can simply donate or sponsor a registered walker online,” said executive director, Sandy Turney.
Participants of the Fergus Walk are encouraged to register online, where they can create a customized walker profile for anyone wanting to donate. By registering online, participants are entered into a draw to win pet food for a year, courtesy of Nestlé Purina PetCare.
Nestlé is actively involved with the foundation year-round. Purina provides dog food to all dog guides in training, including puppies.
“Purina has been a proud sponsor of Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides for many years and it is our distinct privilege to sponsor the Purina Walk for Dog Guides on the 25th anniversary of the Walk," said Mary Siemiesz, executive director of the Purina PetCare Legacy.
To register, find a walk or simply donate, visit www.purinawalkfordogguides.com.