$50,000. That’s approximately how much it costs to raise and train a guide dog, says Guide Dogs Australia.
“Guide Dogs are kind of like the Navy SEALs of the [animal] world – they have to be the highest standard because they are supporting somebody to move safely through an environment and provide all of that psychological support,” says Charlie Spendlove from Guide Dogs Australia.
To help raise those much-needed funds, the organisation is launching Pawgust, a month-long initiative encouraging dog owners to spend 30 minutes walking their pups for 30 days next month.
You can register as an individual or in a team, then gather friends and family to donate to the cause. Guide Dogs Australia sends a “pawdometer” to everyone who registers to measure their steps.
“It really encourages Australians to look after their pets and give them that special time together outside in the fresh air,” Spendlove says. “We are just asking you to do half an hour. Half an hour in your day is time you sit on the couch playing on your phone or checking your Facebook. Put your phone down, grab your favourite friend and get outside.”
You can still take part in Pawgust even if you don’t have a dog – anyone can participate, as long as you register and record your walking.