Hearing dogs need your help | PHOTOS

Donations sought for Australian Lions Hearing Dog Day 2022 | PHOTOS

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Four-legged friends need your help to learn how to assist people who are deaf or hard of hearing.


He might get around with a bright orange jacket and a lead, but Louie is not working in civil construction.

Rather, he is a hearing dog and is helping his new owner, Adrienne Roberts of Kahibah, NSW, become aware of noises she might miss.

Louie is dog number 650 to have been delivered through the Australian Lions Hearing Dogs program since it started in 1982. Hearing dogs cost $37,000 to train and are provided free to people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Australian Lions Hearing Dog Day is on April 19, and the organisation is calling on your help to keep the program going.

The animals are sourced from pounds and rescue organisations, come in all shapes and sizes, and are aged between six months and two years. Training takes six months and is done at the Australian Lions Hearing Dogs headquarters and training centre in Verdun, SA.

Hearing assistance dogs are trained to alert their owner to household sounds including a telephone ringing, an alarm clock, a doorbell or a knock at the door, and a baby crying.

They are also trained to alert their owners to an emergency, such as a fall. This is done by a dogs locating the sound's source, then touching its owner with a paw and returning to the sound. In the event of a smoke alarm going off, a dog will touch its owner and then drop - acting as a warning signal so nobody, including the dog, goes into a dangerous situation.

In public, such dogs can alert its owner to sounds they might miss, for example someone coming up behind them with a trolley, or smoke alarms in shops.

The Lions Club of Charlestown Inc. helped Louie settle in with Adrienne. Several members of the club work with the parent organisation for about 12 weeks to reinforce the training given in SA. The club said training for Louie had been very successful to date.

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