Charity walk aims to raise funds to provide much-needed Dog Guides

Dinah Cotter with her Dog Guide, Chase, at a recent bake sale in support of the Lions Foundation Dog Guides, which matches Dog Guides and people with disabilities, free of charge. Submitted photo.


The only thing better than a nice walk in the spring is a nice walk in the spring that raises funds for an important cause — and an upcoming event offers Kingstonians the opportunity to do just that!

Kingston will be hosting the 2019 Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides Sunday, May 26, 2019 in McBurney Park. The walk will be taking place in approximately 300 communities across Canada in support of Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides and their work providing Dog Guides to Canadians with disabilities.

Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides has seven specialized types of Dog Guide, including service for people with a physical disability, vision assistance, hearing assistance, autism assistance, seizure response, diabetic alert, and support for use by professional agencies for individuals in traumatic situations.

The cost of breeding, training, and matching a Dog Guide can be over $25,000. Lions Foundation of Canada provides Dog Guides with those who need them at no cost.

The charity was “really close to heart” of organizer Dinah Cotter. As a recipient of two Dog Guides, Cotter said, “I feel it’s really important to give back. The way that I can give back is by volunteering and doing the walk. Hopefully this is one way we can get people out and continue to get people dogs.”

Cotter cites her Dog Guide, Chase, a seven-and-a-half year old yellow lab, as a source of independence.

“Without him, I wouldn’t be able to drive my motorized wheelchair. I wouldn’t be able to live independently,” she expressed.

“Prior to my dogs, I was always needing to rely on a human. I always had someone with me because if I had a seizure, I needed them to assist me. I needed to have someone at home to assist me with holding doors, using a phone, picking things up I drop them.”

Cotter and her fellow volunteers have already have already raised over $1,100 through initiatives like bake sales in support of the Lions Foundation. Cotter said that they hoped to get many more donations and are still accepting volunteers.

The Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides will Sunday, May 26, 2016. Registration is at 10:15 a.m. at McBurney Park (aka Skeleton Park). Walkers are invited to bring family and/or leashed dogs. To find out more about the Kingston walk, click here. To fill out a registration form to participate, click here.

“The work that the Lions Foundation does to provide these dogs is phenomenal,” Cotter said, “it just amazes me the difference dogs make for people.”

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