We want you to get to know our PAWsome staff and to ask them questions about their work. So meet Laura!

Laura with social media superstar James Kavanagh with puppies Alex and William

What’s your role at the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind?

My name is Laura O’ Connell and I am a Breeding Programme Assistant.

How long have you been working here?

I have been working here for almost 4 years. I started off working in our Kennels as a Dog Care & Welfare Assistant, then I was Rehoming Officer for 12 months and now I’ve been in my current position as Breeding Programme Assistant since November!

What are your main duties?

I help Olive, our Dog Supply Manager, with the day-to-day running of the Breeding Programme. I coordinate our Home Socialisation Volunteers and Breeding Dog Volunteers and I monitor our newly born litters of puppies from the moment their mother is confirmed to be pregnant until they leave us for their Puppy Raiser’s home. This involves travelling to the homes of our Breeding Dog volunteers across Munster weekly and making sure everyone is getting on well………… and lots of puppy cuddling too.

What’s your favourite thing about working at the Irish Guide Dogs?

I really enjoy being able to see the puppies that are born in our Breeding Dog Volunteers’ homes grow up and seeing the impact they have when they graduate as Guide and Assistance Dogs. Knowing I’ve been a small part of that process really makes it all worthwhile.

Who’s your favourite dog?

This is a really hard question as I love each and every one of the puppies (especially Gretel, check out those eyes!) that come through the programme but it has to be retired Guide Dog Orrin who I rehomed as she is now part of my family!