The positive impact guide dogs have on the lives of Tasmanians living with a disability did not change during COVID-19.
But like most charitable organisations that rely on volunteers, fundraising efforts for Guide Dogs Tasmania have been significantly hampered, with most major events cancelled.
Wednesday marked one of the first times since March that volunteers from the organisation were able to connect with people, face to face, as part of the annual Launceston Street Appeal.
Guide Dog services program manager Kim Ryan said along with selling a new range of Tasmanian produced merchandise, it was also a chance to introduce the community to some of its newest members.
This included Kayla - the first golden retriever to join the Tasmanian program in more than a decade.
"We are really excited about introducing the new breed. Our ambassador dogs Murphy and Paris were also out on the streets, enjoying lots of pats and cuddles," Ms Ryan said.
"It's also about engaging our volunteers again, because many of them had to be stood down during COVID.
"So it's now about getting them back out there ... engaging with the public and helping to spread the word.
"Guide dogs have still needed training throughout COVID and we've still got them there, ready for clients."
It costs more than $50,000 to raise and train one guide or assistance dog.
Along with charitable donations, Guide Dogs Tasmania also relies on the support of volunteer puppy raisers to help future service dogs get the start they need.
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With interstate travel resuming, Ms Ryan said the organisation was now trying to keep up with the demand.
"Now that the border have opened, we're able to fly pups and they are coming in more frequently," she said.
"So we are kind of playing catch up with our puppy arrivals.
"We are definitely looking for more puppy raisers as we have another four puppies arriving before the end of the year.
"We will need more support moving forward to ensure we can keep up."
For more information or to make a donation visit guidedogstas.com.au/.
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