Rugby star Jack Crowley with pups in training, Reggie and Tori. Photo: John Allen

Callout for puppy raisers!

Appeal by Munster and Ireland rugby star

Ireland and Munster fly-half Jack Crowley has appealed for volunteers to sign up as puppy raisers for Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind.

As an ambassador for the charity, Crowley is better placed than most to extol the virtues of puppy raising with his own family having raised many pups who went on to become Guide and Assistance Dogs.

Crowley said: “Puppy raising was part of family life growing up. We all got involved, helping each pup to socialise, learn the basics of obedience, and experience everyday activities such as traveling on buses, trains, and even going to some of my games. It’s a huge commitment, but we knew that every time a pup left to start formal training, we had given it a significant start in its journey to changing someone’s life. Every time I visit the centre now, I’m tempted to sign up again!”

Puppy-raising supervisor Shereen Pearson said puppy raising can fit in with most people’s everyday lives. She added: “Anyone can apply. Retired people and families with children generally make good puppy raisers, but many will combine their role by bringing their pup to the office a couple of days a week, attending appointments, and visiting family and friends. The important thing is that the person is able to spend time caring for and teaching the puppy.”

The charity provides training and ongoing support to each puppy raiser, and all veterinary fees and feeding costs are covered by Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. Equipment such as crates, leads, etc, are also provided and cover for when a Puppy Raiser goes on holiday.

What are the requirements?

- There should be no more than two dogs in the home. All dogs should be over 12-months-old, neutered/spayed, up to date on all vaccinations, and well-behaved around other dogs.

- The puppy must not be left alone for more than four hours.

- You have a fully enclosed garden with walls or fences minimum 5ft high.

- Puppy will live inside, day and night.

- Children in the home must be over five years of age.

- You must be 18 years or older, but the whole family can get involved.

To find out more visit the website at or email

The charity runs free information webinars regularly – next up is Wednesday, February 28, at 7pm. To register, email