Two visually impaired young people to have a guide dog in November


Press Release


Visually impaired young people are often made to feel different and isolated. Without the independence that comes from mobility, they are in constant need of a helper. Getting together with friends and even going to school requires assistance. They can’t do all of the things that their visually able friends do on their own.

The Algarve’s expert dog behaviourist, Karin Holmström Forster of Pawsitive Assistance Dogs, has worked with people and their wellbeing all of her life. Through her love for dogs and an urge to give something back, Karin became an Assistance Dog Trainer and helped form the association Alertalegria – Associação de Cães de Assistência Internacional Association Assistance Dogs International.

Karin has the unique opportunity this summer to take 2 dogs to train with Alan Brooks, one of the UK´s most experienced Guide Dog trainers.

After the dogs are qualified guide dogs, Pawsitive Dogs Algarve will donate them to two young visually impaired individuals living in Portugal. Currently guide dogs cost about €40K. Dog behaviourist expert Karin Holmström Forster has visited Portugal for longer periods since 1999. In all these years she has only seen 1 guide dog! In the past, Portugal provided 67% of the cost of a guide dog to families in need. Today there is no funding.

The challenges for families in Portugal with a disabled member are very high and they have very little support from the government. Medical costs are high and specialist treatments often mean extensive travel within or even outside of Portugal. This puts an enormous strain on already economically burdened families and their children. Buying a Guide Dog can therefore be out of the question.

Our project to train 2 guide dogs this summer has just begun and will conclude in November, when the training has finished.

There are multiple aspects to this project:

·         Raising money to support Karin and the dogs during the three months of training

·         Matching two visually impaired young people and their families with the two trained dogs

·         Supporting a two-month transition (hand-over-training) period for both the visually impaired person and their new dog

·         Ongoing support to ensure success.

How you can help:

·         Offer your donation by clicking on this link:

·         Share our Facebook Event with all your friends:

·         Contact us: Or mobile:  917 076 040

·         Like our Pawsitive Dogs page:

·         Join our Charity Event in July

·         Come celebrate our Hand-over Event in November

You or your organisation can make the difference in the lives of two impaired children by supporting this charity project  to help us raise the €40,000 needed to make this program a success.


About Karin Holmström Forster

Expert Dog behaviourist, Karin Holmström Forster, has been working with dogs and their humans in Portugal for almost two decades.

Originally from Sweden, dog psychologist, Karin, has always had her focus on rehabilitation. She has worked as a nurse and a massage therapist.  She has a qualification in Kinesiology and is still involved in running classes as a Pilates instructor.

As her focus shifted to the canine community, she studied with some of the luminaries in the field (Karen Pryor in the USA, Fernando Silva in Portugal, Audrey Finns and Gary Landsberg in the USA, Cilla Danielsson in Sweden, Victoria Stillwell in the UK, as well as Grisha Stewart and Ian Dunbar in the USA). All are internationally respected dog behaviourists. Karin is currently finishing a three-term course in Ethology and Dog Behaviour & Cognition at Linkoping University in Sweden.

In addition, she educates new instructors both in Sweden and in the Algarve. Her primary Algarve focus is her company, Pawsitive Dogs, through which she trains dogs and their humans and helps address dog behaviour issues.

As an expert in the field, Karin is a catalyst for change in dogs’ well being and is a respected speaker at dog training events. Most recently she was a keynote speaker at an animal cruelty prevention seminar run by Safe Communities Portugal. This event led to the creation of an animal welfare umbrella group for shelters and individuals seeking information and assistance with animal welfare issues.

As a representative of Assistance Dogs International / Associaçao de Cães de Assisténcia International, Karin is one of only two apprentices chosen this year to work with Alan Brooks, the internationally recognized UK expert in training guide dogs.