Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, the charity that trains dogs to support deaf people, has regretfully announced that it will be closing its charity shop on Musselburgh High Street in East Lothian on 31st March.  After five years of trading, the shop is no longer a sustainable source of fundraising income for the Charity.

However, Hearing Dogs has received such tremendous support from the local community over the years, the charity has decided to launch a brand new puppy socialising area between Glasgow and Edinburgh. Relying solely on the support of the public, Hearing Dogs is now seeking volunteers to join its puppy programme.

Michele Jennings, Chief Executive of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People says;

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“Since its opening in 2009, the shop in Musselburgh has been a wonderful part of the Charity and it is with regret that we are closing the store in March. I would like to extend a huge thank you to all of our kind hearted volunteers who have dedicated their time to support the shop and the Charity over the years.

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People will be launching a brand new puppy socialising scheme in Scotland later this year and we are looking for enthusiastic volunteers from both Glasgow and Edinburgh. Puppy socialising volunteers play a vital role in the journey of a hearing dog, and do so in the knowledge that one day these pups will grow up to change the life of a deaf person.”

Volunteer socialisers will look after an adorable puppy in their home for a year, teaching basic obedience skills and introducing the pup to new people, sights and sounds. The puppies are placed with volunteers at eight weeks of age and will stay with a socialiser for twelve to sixteen months before returning to one of Hearing Dogs’ two national training centres.

Each hearing dog will then undertake a sixteen week advanced sound work course and learn how to alert a deaf person to important sounds like the alarm clock, telephone, doorbell and fire alarm. Not only do hearing dogs offer practical support, but they also offer their deaf partner increased confidence, companionship and independence.

Once training is complete, these clever dogs will be matched with someone who is severely or profoundly deaf, and will go on to transform that person’s life.

Puppy socialising volunteers receive full support from the Hearing Dogs for Deaf People training team, as well as regular home visits. For more information please visit www.hearingdogs.org.uk/puppysocialising or email volunteer@hearingdogs.org.uk