Local News

LIONS Club prepares to train dogs as hearing guides

by: Ashley Penn, News Reporter

The Freeport Lions Club in conjunction with the Florida Dog Guides F.T.D Inc. has partnered to provide a skill that will benefit the hearing impaired on the island.

The initiative will allow a group of persons to travel abroad at the end of next month to gain training at the F.T.D facility in Bradenton, Florida.

Eager to launch the much needed program, Founder and Executive Director of Florida Dog Guides, Arlene Dickinson said the initiative is a direct product of a two year effort.

" We have been working on this for almost two years now and I have been invited today to work with the Freeport Lions. We are ready to launch the program here under the Freeport Lions and we are happy to join hands across the ocean and be able to provide services for people with disabilities in The Bahamas,"  she said.

Dickinson said hearing dogs are the main focus of the organization as they provide a major service for disabled persons.

" Hearing dogs are our main focus in the state and they are trained to assist the deaf and the hearing impaired by becoming the ears of their population,"  she added.

In addition, the F.T.D proprietor said dog owners will be the trainer for their precious canines with the assistance of trained experts.

" Our program trains the person to train their own dog. We don't train a dog at the school or at the Freeport Lions and give them their service dog. We train the person to train their own dog with the help of an instructor from the school or from the Freeport Lions," Dickinson concluded.

Pleased to partner with the Florida based entity, Freeport Lions Club president, Charles Saunders said the trained canines will make a difference in the community.

" Indeed it is a pleasure for the Freeport Lions Club to welcome our fellow lions to Freeport to launch this significant program in the community where these dogs will make a great difference by helping the less fortunate,"  he said.

Saunders encouraged locals to utilize the major opportunity, especially those with disabilities.

" I encourage the community of Grand Bahama if you have loved ones with these disabilities feel free to contact the Freeport Lions Club,"  he concluded.

Published March 26, 2014

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