BY EMILY WILLIAMS
In November of 2021, Deborah Mayfield was presented with a Hearing Assistance Dog by the Australian Lions Hearing Dogs, as supported by two local Lions Clubs.
The Lions Clubs of Bundaberg and Bundaberg North teamed up to sponsor the dog, who is expected to provide more than a decade of service.
Currently, one in six Australians experience some form of hearing loss; however, this is expected to rise to one in four by 2050.
Hearing Assistance Dogs offer their owners confidence, companionship and an improved sense of emotional and physical wellbeing.
Deborah’s dog, Dudley, was accompanied by Australian Lions Hearing Dogs trainer Nick Liemandt to Bundaberg from the Training Centre in South Australia. He spent a week in Bundaberg settling him in and training her on how Dudley operates.
Complementing this, trained Lions members have spent the following 12 weeks supporting Deborah in Dudley’s training.
Although the training and care costs of each Hearing Assistance Dog total more than $37,000, the Australian Lions Hearing Dogs, supported by Lions Clubs and corporate sponsors, gift the dogs to deaf or hard of hearing people.
Since their founding in 1980, Australian Lions Hearing Dogs have delivered more than 600 dogs to deaf or hard of hearing Australians. ALHD continue to train, on average, 25 dogs per year.
If you wish to donate to Australian Lions Hearing Dogs or learn more, click here.