Guide dog puppies named after tragic Birmingham school girls who died in flat fire
Two adorable guide dogs were named in honor of two young girls who tragically died in a fire.
Rachel Mojoyinoluwa Kehinde, 17, and Grace Omolayo Kehinde, eight, died with their parents in an accident abroad in Kazakhstan in 2017.
The Edgbaston family was only reunited for two days after their father, Prof. Elijah Kehinde, spent a year in Kazakhstan to set up a medical faculty at Nazarbayev University.
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Now, in honor of their deceased classmates, students at Edgbaston High School for Girls have raised over £ 3,300 to name two guide dog puppies after them.
They raised the money needed to name the life changing pups by baking pet treats, designing and selling pet toys, and running a pet week with a series of fundraisers.
The puppies Grace and Mojo were born in April of this year and are both Golden Retrievers.
Like their namesake, they are siblings and come from a seven-headed litter.
An Edgbaston High School (EHS) spokesperson for girls said: “Our connections with guide dogs go back a long way and in 2017 we set out to raise over £ 1,500 to participate in their ‘Name a Puppy’ program.
“If we raise enough money, we could sponsor and name our own EHS puppy, and get regular updates, pictures and a birth certificate.
“At around the same time, we tragically lost two students in our school community, sisters Grace and Mojo, in a devastating accident. Mojo would have been in college now and Grace would have been in our seventh year now.
“We decided to go ahead with our fundraising and raise enough to name two pups instead of one as the girls were really strong that they wanted to remember the dogs Grace and Mojo.
“The girls are sorely missed, so this is a beautiful tribute to them and it helps keep their memories alive.
Sophie Vann, teacher at the school and volunteer breeding dog owner for guide dogs, looks after guide dog Vixen, the mother of the puppies Grace and Mojo.
(Image: Guide dogs UK)
The pups are born in the volunteer’s homes before being taken to the charity’s National Center near Leamington Spa for health and temperament checks when they are around eight weeks old.
They then move to live with volunteer puppy breeders, where they begin their journey to become life changing leaders.
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Miles Northwood, Birmingham Guide Dog Community Fundraising Relationship Manager, said, “We’d like to thank the students and teachers at Edgbaston High School for Girls for their amazing fundraising drives.
“It costs £ 54,800 to support a guide dog from birth to retirement, and as a charity we rely almost entirely on public donations.
“As a guide dog owner, I know the difference our services make for people with vision loss.
“We wish the pups Grace and Mojo the best of luck on their journey and look forward to sharing their progress with everyone at the school.”
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