Press Release – Hearing Dogs for Deaf People New Zealand
Hearing Dogs for Deaf People New Zealand is pleased to announce that the Governor-General of New Zealand, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, has become the organisation’s patron.Governor-General Becomes Hearing Dogs Patron
Hearing Dogs for Deaf People New Zealand is pleased to announce that the Governor-General of New Zealand, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, has become the organisation’s patron.
Hearing Dogs is a Charitable Trust established in 1998 that is dedicated to helping Deaf and Hearing Impaired New Zealanders with everyday activities that we take for granted.
Hearing Dogs are specially trained to international standards to alert Deaf people to sounds like fire and smoke alarms, alarm clocks, doorbell or door knock, telephone, fax, email, timers, baby-cry monitor and more.
Sir Jerry Mateparae said he was looking forward to his association with the Hearing Dogs Trust in the next five years.
“With one in ten New Zealanders living with hearing loss that affects their daily lives, the Hearing Dogs Trust provides a valuable service in our community. Having more Hearing Dogs in the community raises awareness about Deafness and helps break down the barriers that restrict Deaf people from better integrating into all aspects of society.”
Hearing Dogs Trustee, Rob Davis said: “We are delighted to have someone of such stature support our organisation and help raise our profile. Hearing loss often affects the way a person relates to the world and the people around them. Because Hearing Dogs reduce the isolation Deaf people can experience, they also reduce their stress. Those who have Hearing Dogs say they get more freedom, independence, confidence and security from having a Hearing Dog.”
Hearing Dogs are often rescued from animal shelters or come from breeders and private owners and undergo intensive training at the National Training Centre in New Plymouth which takes 4 – 6 months. At the weekends they go to socialisers, usually with other animals and children.
When training is complete they are partnered with Deaf people all over the country. Many Hearing Dog recipients feel more comfortable about leaving their home and often find that people are more inclined to interact with them because the Dog in the jacket makes people aware that they are Deaf. The yellow jacket also signifies that our dogs have rights of Public Access.
There are more than 50 Registered Hearing Dogs working in New Zealand and another 6 in training at any one time. Our dogs come in all shapes and sizes to suit all lifestyles, personalities and homes and are gifted to eligible recipients.
Each Dog costs $13,500 to train. The trust receives no Government funding and relies on the generosity and support of the public, sponsors and volunteers.