30 Mar 2017
The first litter of locally born guide dog puppies, sponsored under the Link Together Initiatives and named by the public through online voting, made their first public appearance today.
The naming of the ‘Seven Little Stars’ was conducted through Link’s Park & Dine app between Mar 16 and Mar 22. Participants were asked to choose three names among 20 provided by the Hong Kong Guide Dogs Association which all started with the letter ‘P’. The most voted seven names were Popeye, Popcorn, Pasta, Pancake, Pepper, Pudding and Pizza.
Nicholas Charles Allen, Chairman of Link Asset Management Limited, said, “We are much delighted and encouraged by the birth of these puppies as they represent a significant achievement of the local guide dog breeding programme jointly undertaken by Link and the Hong Kong Guide Dogs Association since 2013. We are truly excited to see the fruits of our efforts and expect more positive news to come.”
Mabel Chau, Chairman of Hong Kong Guide Dogs Association, said, “The seven puppies mark an important milestone in the guide dog breeding programme which was started two years ago. It encourages social inclusion and demonstrates vividly how life changes life. We sincerely thank all those who have helped to make this project a success”.
Since 2013, Link has opened all its properties for guide dog training and commenced its formal support to the Association in 2014 through its flagship charity and community engagement programme, Link Together Initiatives. The breeding programme was launched with the purchase of eight puppies and a breeding female dog from overseas.
Later this year, Link will sponsor two veterinarians to train overseas in the trans-cervical insemination technique, which promises to produce a much higher success in conception rate for the dogs.
The puppies were born to Eve, one of the eight original puppies from overseas. Dax and Delta, another two of the eight, have graduated from their training and are now successfully matched with their guide dog users. Dax’s user, Tim Henderson, expressed his deep gratitude to all the people who were involved in his matching. He said Dax has become his loyal partner and has brought valuable contribution to his life. Felix Wong, an artist and ambassador of the Association also shared how he, together with other foster families, provide support to the Association.