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A trying time
3:30pm Thursday 19th April 2012 in Letters
The month of March was a very trying time for Guide Dogs in Swindon. As well as the attacks in Swindon on a working and trainee guide dog, we have also lost two of our guide dogs.
Amara, who was ten years old and a hard working and loyal guide dog, had to be put to sleep after developing fits.
Dennis who was well known in Nationwide, Pegasus House and was aged eight had to withdrawn from working due to a kidney problem and, as Amara, will be sadly missed by his guide dog owner.
It is difficult when you have had a guide dog on your left hand side for a long period of time to suddenly find that they are no longer there and you have to try and get around without a dog, they are our eyes, our guide and just as importantly a very close companion.
Guide Dogs as a charity make a commitment to all the 4,500 guide dog owners in the United Kingdom to support them with a guide dog for the rest of their lives which is a big commitment to make and all it costs us to have a guide dog is just 50p, the charity pays for the dog food and vets bill which costs £5 a day to support these partnerships.
We have 20 guide dogs in the area and the annual cost to support these is £36,400. We receive no government funding and rely solely upon the support of the public and businesses through donations and gifts in wills. Without your support we could not exist.
Alan Fletcher, Chairman, Swindon Guide Dogs for the Blind.