Arts Events Leisure | Parenting and Education | People and Places
Story Dogs fundraiser a howling success
by Mornington Peninsula Magazine
Five people standing around with a book with two books next to a brown labrador.

There was an abundance of orange and a few more furry friends than usual at Peninsula Vet Care’s five clinics on May 7 for the Woof For Story Dogs fundraiser.

Story Dogs is an organisation that provides dogs for children to read to so they can become confident lifelong readers. You see, when children read out loud to a dog, there are amazing outcomes because it’s a non-judgemental setting. The child’s focus improves and literacy skills increase, and their confidence skyrockets.

PVC’s focus was to raise much-needed money for Story Dogs because it takes $120 to provide a canine reading companion for a child at school for a year. Story Dogs also needs dogs that have a quiet temperament and like being around children. Owners and their dogs will be put through an accredited program before joining.

PVC clinic manager Georgie Scaife said: “I made a call to Janine Sigley, the managing director and co-founder of Story Dogs, and two weeks later we were all dressed up in orange and keen to raise awareness of the shortage of these magical volunteers here on the Peninsula.” Janine said: “It seemed like a natural fit, with Peninsula Vet Care and Story Dogs having a similar focus on healthy, happy dogs helping and living within the community. The challenge of wearing orange and turning their vet clinics orange for a day was taken up with gusto by all their staff. We loved the orange socks! It comes down to locals helping locals, supporting each other through difficult times and making sure our dogs and children get the best possible help.”

It was a remarkable team bonding day for PVC, with visits from two hardworking Story Dogs, Heide and Lucy, along with their owners Prue and Susie, who are volunteers and co-ordinators of the program on the Peninsula.

Georgie’s proud of the fundraiser’s success and said it was not only a great community event, it was also an excellent opportunity to generate donations and encourage more volunteers. She’s already looking forward to holding a bigger event next year that will include a storytime with children, a story and illustration competition and much more. “I am very passionate about this cause. I have two boys of my own who both found reading difficult when they were younger during school. I think that may have been different if the school they attended had one of these amazing dogs. These dogs are assisting in reading and wellness support within our school community – a valuable service today with social media and additional pressures on children.”

PVC is eager to continue its efforts, so anyone willing to donate can contribute via PVC’s Facebook page @penvetcare or drop into one of the clinics.

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