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Why we run a boarding house for puppies

Housemates Darcy O’Gara, Steven Luong and Richard Dix are all volunteer dog boarders. They have full-time jobs at the same firm, but also look after string of part-time puppies.

Puppy boarding is one way charities are dealing with spiralling waiting lists for guide dogs and assistance dogs – which cost £55,000 to train and care for during their lifetime.

“We’ve had seven puppies and dogs, but Urwin is probably the cheekiest,” says Darcy, 27.

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“You have to be careful if you have food lying around, but he’s quite adorable.”

For the past two years, the colleagues-turned-housemates have run a “puppy B&B” from their home in Banbury, Oxfordshire, which involves hosting a puppy for evening and weekend stays.

The puppies go on to be trained as guide dogs, or to assist a person with a physical disability, or condition such as autism or dementia.

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