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The Burns Pet Nutrition Foundation, part of Burns Pet Nutrition – a family company in Wales that makes specialist foods designed for the health and well-being of pets – will lend its considerable support to two Ireland-based charities in 2018.

Via its Charities of the Year scheme and The Better Tomorrow Programme (which sit under the Burns Pet Nutrition Foundation), Burns will support Dogs for the Disabled and the Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland (ASI) throughout 2018.

Dogs for the Disabled, founded in 2007 in Cork, trains assistance dogs to help children and adults with physically disabilities carry out a range of practical tasks.

Its dogs are specially trained to assist their owners carry out a range of everyday tasks such as opening/closing doors, picking up items, sending for help or even emptying the washing machine. This helps many individuals achieve greater independence.

Paul McGuinness was supplied with an assistance dog by Dogs for the Disabled. He describes the difference Feebie has made to his life.

“Feebie is my assistance dog and that means she must be ready for work 24/7. She does task work for me such as retrieving items that I drop, be it my mobile phone, keys or wallet. She assists me with dressing and retrieves my crutch when I need it. She is also a great companion to have.

“Before I got Feebie, I would get strange looks as I stumbled walking up the street. On one occasion I was even stopped by the Guards who thought I was drunk. Now when I go out, Feebie attracts all the attention. People stop to admire her and chat to me. This makes going out a lot easier. She accompanies me everywhere including work placements and to college.

“I will be eternally grateful to Dogs for the Disabled for giving me Feebie and making everyday life that bit easier.”

The Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland manages a network comprising more than 120 dementia specific services including day care centres, homecare services, carer support groups, social clubs, Alzheimer cafes and respite centres. It also operates the Alzheimer National Helpline Service offering information and support to anyone affected by Alzheimer’s or dementia.

In February 2018, John Burns, a veterinary surgeon and the founder of Burns Pet Nutrition, visited Festina Lente, a not-for-profit organisation in Wicklow focused on social inclusion, which provides a range of occupational, learning and employment opportunities for people whose needs have not been met in mainstream services.

Through the Better Tomorrow Programme Burns has funded an allotment where John planted raised beds designed to be easily used by Alzheimer sufferers. Burns community project officers will now maintain the allotment, where groups from the ASI can socialise, plant flowers or grow vegetables to take home.

They will also regularly visit the Alzheimer’s daycare center with Harvey, a specialty trained therapy dog trained under the Burns by Your Side scheme, which trains dogs to help individuals (usually school children) improve their literacy and communication skills.

During the day visit, John was joined by the duty manager from the ASI, Laurence Collins, along with the CEO of Festina Lente, Dr. Jill Carey, as well as people who will be using the area each week.

John Burns expressed his commitment to working with both charities:

“I feel it’s incredibly important to help charities such as Dogs for the Disabled and the Alzheimer’s Society Ireland, as they both do such great work for people in need of their services.

Burns Pet Nutrition is a family company, first and foremost, and that is why such a huge part of what is important to us and what we do, is ensuring that we support charities that make such a huge difference to peoples’ lives, and we will continue to do so.”

About the Burns Pet Nutrition Foundation

Set up in 2009 by Veterinary Surgeon John Burns, the Burns Pet Nutrition Foundation aims to make a difference to communities and lives of animals, young people and people from diverse backgrounds.

The foundation also delivers the Burns by Your Side scheme, which helps school children improve their literacy and communication skills with the aid of trained volunteers and their reading dogs.

For further information on the Burns Pet Nutrition Foundation or Burns by Your Side, please visit:

More information on Burns Pet Nutrition Foundation can be found here: Burns Pet Nutrition Foundation

Burns by Your Side scheme: http://burnspet.co.uk/burns-by-your-side.html or contact Carol Lincoln: Carol@burnspet.co.uk

The Better Tomorrow Programme

Under Burns’ The Better Tomorrow Programme, exciting new projects and partnerships are developed to help enhance the lives of disadvantaged people. It does this by offering practical recreational facilities and life skill opportunities.

Dogs for the Disabled

Dogs for the Disabled is a unique charity founded in 2007 to improve the lives of children and adults living with physical disabilities in Ireland. It is comprised mainly of volunteers and receives no government funding to provide our service.

 Its assistance dogs are specially trained to assist physically disabled children and adults to carry out a range of practical tasks in order to achieve greater independence. Every dog is trained to help with simple everyday tasks such as opening/closing doors, picking up dropped items, emptying the washing machine, sending for help or even helping a child with severe walking difficulties to walk with greater ease and balance. Each dog is trained to cater for the needs of the specific client to enable them to live life with greater independence.