Sainsbury’s stores going barking mad for Support Dogs

Seventeen Sainsbury’s stores in England will be going barking mad for Support Dogs over the next 12 months.

The stores, ranging from superstores to local branches, have adopted Support Dogs as their charity of the year.

And that means hundreds of shoppers will get the chance to meet some of the charity’s canine stars, and find out how they can support its life-changing work with people with a range of serious medical conditions.

Staff and volunteers will hold several store collections at Sainsbury’s throughout the year, and run a second-hand book table for customers.

Support Dogs runs three separate assistance dog programmes. It trains dogs to give people with epilepsy a warning of up to 50 minutes of an oncoming seizure – the only charity in the UK to do so. Its autism assistance programme enables children with autism to remain safe, less anxious and lead a more normal life. And its disability assistance programme increases the level of independence for people with physical disabilities, helping with shopping, housework, and raising the alarm.

The charity is hoping to top the £100,000 mark, which will pay for the training of five assistance dogs.

Danny Anderson, fundraising manager for Support Dogs, who are based in Sheffield, said: “We’re thrilled that so many Sainsbury’s stores have made us their charity of the year. We’re very much looking forward to working with staff and customers to raise awareness and cash that will help us to carry out our vital work that can transform people’s lives, enabling them to be more fulfilled and independent.

“We’re the charity that gives dogs a second chance, as many of our dogs are unwanted pets or come from rescue centres, yet can be trained to do the most extraordinary things for their owners.”