Frequently asked questions

Here is a selection of questions we are asked on a regular basis. We hope you find them useful but if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

Are we allowed to choose what breed we get when volunteering?

We do ask that you are as flexible as possible when it comes to breeds or sizes of dogs. The more specific you are, the trickier it is to place a dog with you. This causes difficulty for us, and may mean a much longer wait until you receive a dog. However please note that we will never place a puppy or dog with you unless it is suitable for your home and lifestyle.

Can I change the amount of my regular gift online?

Not at this time (we are working to introduce this facility soon). If your gift is payable by direct debit, please telephone or write to us, including your name, address (including the postcode) and a supporter reference number if you have it to hand. Please let us know the new amount you would like to give and the date on which you would like us to start collecting your donation (our Direct Debits are processed on the 1st or 15th of each month). We will then send you a letter to confirm the changes. Please do not send personal or banking details by email as email is not secure.

Can I leave my dog at home all day?

No, not all day, your hearing dog should accompany you to as many places as possible. This means taking your dog to work and into town.

Can I pay or donate by cheque?

Yes, of course. Cheques should be made payable to ‘Hearing Dogs for Deaf People’ and can be posted to: Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, The Grange, Wycombe Road, Saunderton, Buckinghamshire, HP27 9NS. If you prefer to pay directly into our bank account, please call us for the details.

Can we volunteer as a family?

All of our dog care roles are perfect to take part in as a family. In fact, many people say that volunteering has brought their family closer together. Anyone in the household who will care for or walk the dog alone must be over 18 and registered as a volunteer, however we encourage all family members to play a part in the care and socialisation of the dog.

Do you cover volunteers' expenses?

We don't wish for any of our volunteers to be out of pocket. Therefore, we can cover mileage or reimburse for public transport tickets when you are required to travel, and we will also provide or reimburse for lunch when you are volunteering for a full day. We have a full volunteer expenses policy in place which is available on request.

How do I know a hearing dog is right for me?

We understand that every degree of hearing loss can be challenging, and our one-to-one advisors will do their best to discover if your needs can be met through one of our fantastic dogs. Hearing Dogs do not just provide deaf people with registered assistance dogs – we can also match you with a sound support dog or a companion and confidence dog, depending on your circumstances. Does this sound like something that you could benefit from?

How do I notify you of a change of address?

Please phone us or email us at info@hearingdogs.org.uk with your name, your old address, your new address (including the postcodes). Please include any supporter or reference number if available to help us quickly make the changes.

How long will I have to wait?

Everyone’s waiting time will vary as it’s based around an individual’s circumstance. So it could be as quick as a year or it could be longer, depending on your requirements. We are fully committed to making sure your dog is absolutely perfect for you – and we really appreciate your patience. Once you’ve spoken to your one-to-one advisor, we can determine how long you may have to wait for your hearing dog.

How old do I have to be to volunteer?

All of our volunteers must be over the age of 18 due to insurance. We do, however, offer structured work experience placements throughout the year for students interested in or studying animal care or training. These are looked after by our dog welfare team.

My bank details have changed. How can I update them?

If you would like to notify us of changes to your bank details please phone us on 01844 348 109 or write to us at Hearing Dogs for Deaf people. Because email is not secure, please do not send us any personal or banking details by email.

We have other pets; are we still able to volunteer to look after a dog?

Other pets are not normally a problem, however we do need to assess any pet dogs in your home before placing one of our hearing dogs with you. We can provide advice when it comes to keeping one of our dogs with other animals.

What breeds do you use?

The majority of our new recruits are Cocker Spaniels, Miniature Poodles, Labradors and Cockapoos.

What criteria will you need to meet?

These are some of the basic criteria: 1) You are aged 18 or older 2) You have a severe to profound deafness in both ears 3) You can walk a dog for an hour every day 4) The dog will not be away from you for more than 4 hours at a time 5) You like dogs 6) You do not have any pet dogs at home under 10 years of age. If you have more than one pet dog then we cannot accept your application. If you have any questions about the criteria then please contact us. We will be happy to answer your questions.

What if I can't take my dog to work?

Your hearing dog should come to work with you to help you with sounds there and maintain a working bond.

What roles can I volunteer in?

There are a number of exciting volunteering roles at Hearing Dogs. Some involve caring for dogs at home, others are based at one of our two training centres in Buckinghamshire or Yorkshire, and we also have roles that take place out in the community. Roles do vary depending on your location, and occasionally we put recruitment on hold if we have enough volunteers in place. The best thing to do is enter your town or postcode into the volunteering search box to find out what is available near you. Or, you can get in touch with us directly.

Where do you get the dogs from?

Over half the Charity's dogs come from our own Kennel Club Accredited breeding scheme.

Will I be insured as a volunteer?

Yes, all of our volunteers are covered under our Employers Liability Insurance.