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€8,600 raised to help train service dogs

Angela Tabone presenting the donation to Joseph Stafrace.Angela Tabone presenting the donation to Joseph Stafrace.

Our Planet in Motion was the theme of an art competition run by Citadel Insurance plc, in which its policyholders’ children were encouraged to send in their interpretation of the theme. Twelve pictures were chosen by a panel of artists for inclusion in a 2015 calendar, which was offered to those donating towards the Service Dogs Malta Foundation.

“We wanted to fundraise for this worthy cause as a whole organisation, including our clients and service providers,” Citadel’s managing director and CEO Angela Tabone said.

“We would like to thank everyone who donated to or helped this project, allowing us to raise €8,600.”

The money will go towards training service dog trainers for the Service Dogs Malta Foundation and helping Bailey become the foundation’s first service dog.

“It costs around €15,000 to have a service dog trained in the US,” the foundation’s co-founder and chairwoman Sara Grech said.

“Such costs would not be sustainable in the long term, so we are raising funds to have Bailey trained while also having three experienced local dog trainers receive specialised training.”

This is important as service dogs do not cater for just the visually impaired. Those with mobility issues, psychiatric issues, as well as those suffering from conditions such as diabetes or hearing disabilities can all benefit from having a service dog.

“Our first dog, Bailey, who is now just over a year old, is ready to start its service training. It will soon be leaving its volunteer puppy raiser, who looks after the puppies for the first year and helps them socialise, as well as offering basic obedience training,” foundation co-founder Joseph Stafrace said.

For those wishing to volunteer their time or donate, the foundation can be reached at http://www.servicedogsmalta.org/.

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