ABILITY Dogs 4 Young People has declared a ‘mini crisis’ after struggling to secure volunteer help — with suitable puppy parents in particularly short supply.

Carol Court, the Isle of Wight charity’s chief executive and a volunteer herself, said: “We are a small Island charity and like to take on six new baby puppies each year.

“The training takes about two years so, if we are not able to find puppy parents for them all, we will not be able to help as many disabled young people in two years’ time.

“Being a volunteer puppy parent is definitely hard work and needs people who are very dedicated, have enough time and energy to devote to the puppy, and have the right home set-up.”

The organisation is looking for volunteer puppy parents to love and train the animals. It will provide food and equipment, cover all veterinary costs and support volunteers with weekly home puppy training classes.

The charity is also looking for foster puppy parents who can look after a training Ability Dog puppy for short periods, and volunteers to help in its charity shops, with fundraising, admin and general maintenance.

It said: "Getting enough volunteers to help with the charity’s work has always been on-going, but Ability Dogs 4 Young People is declaring a ‘mini crisis.'

"This year, for some reason, it has been harder than usual, and the charity is now very short of volunteer help."

Anyone interested in helping can call the charity on 216246, email info@abilitydogs4yp.org.uk or visit www.abilitydogs4yp.org.uk