Two Labradors are beginning their careers as assistance dogs after being adopted from a rescue charity.
Rizzo and Rex were donated to West Sussex-based Canine Partners by Jerry Green Dog Rescue 18 months ago.
The pair spent a year with puppy parents, who taught them basic skills and obedience, before moving on to advanced training.
Rex has now been partnered with Kathy Bole, 54, from Suffolk, who has fibromyalgia and hypermobility syndrome and uses a wheelchair.
The chocolate Labrador has been trained to help Kathy, pictured above, with practical tasks such as opening doors and cupboards, unloading washing machines and fetching help in an emergency.
Black Labrador Rizzo will be partnered with a new owner once he completes his advanced training. A third Labrador, Rolo, was rehomed earlier this year after he was unable to continue his training due to health reasons.
Julie Berkley, manager of puppy supply and training at Canine Partners, said: “This is the first time Canine Partners have adopted dogs from Jerry Green Dog Rescue and we were delighted by the charity’s offer of support. Our canine partners provide practical day-to-day assistance with tasks that may be difficult, painful or impossible for their disabled owners to perform. They also offer companionship, unconditional love and affection which is so unique to dogs.
“Labradors and retrievers are best suited to this kind of work as it harnesses their natural abilities, so we were very pleased to be able to take these three Labrador puppies from Jerry Green Dog Rescue and to show that rescue dogs can make fantastic assistance dogs.”
Shelley Wooding, head of welfare and development at Jerry Green Dog Rescue, said: “We’re delighted that the Labrador puppies, which Canine Partners adopted from our charity last year, are making a real difference to people’s lives.
“This was the first time we offered dogs up for adoption to Canine Partners, which we were happy to do because we know they will be well loved and looked after by their owners.”
For information about adopting a dog from Jerry Green Dog Rescue, visit www.jerrygreendogs.org.uk.