And the winner is....Bilbo Baggins from Surrey
After months of preparation, and a nail-biting wait, we were pleased to finally reveal the winner of the HiLife PAT Dog of the Year 2015/16 award at the world’s biggest dog show, Crufts.
Six-year-old Bilbo Baggins, a cockapoo from Surrey, is a Pets as Therapy Dog and he appeared in the famous Crufts arena along with his owner Philippa Cadge and the five other finalists to compete for the prestigious title.
Loveable Bilbo spends his days visiting youngsters with disabilities at a respite centre as well as providing company for older people at a care home. After the judge called his name we presented him and Philippa with the HiLife PAT Dog of the Year trophy, £500 and three months’ supply of HiLife dog food.
Afterwards, Philippa told us: “I am absolutely thrilled to bits. To be in the finals, and go to Crufts, has been a wonderful experience and I can’t believe we have won. The volunteers and their dogs do such incredible work in their local communities so it was a real honour to share the spotlight with them.
“Bilbo was nominated by Cherry Trees Respite Home for Children with Disabilities, in East Clandon, and we can’t wait to tell the staff, children and their families. They will be delighted to hear the news and we’ll be taking our trophy and rosette along next time we visit.”
Bilbo has been visiting Cherry Trees for more than four years and the children love to take him on walks or cuddle him as he sits on their laps. He also brightens up the days of elderly residents at Furze Hill Lodge Care Home in Kingswood, keeping them company in the lounge or going to see them in their rooms.
Pets As Therapy is an independently funded charity with over 5,000 volunteers. Its registered PAT dogs provide animal assisted therapy and bring comfort, smiles and friendship to 1000s of people every week.
Once again we are proud to sponsor this competition at Crufts and hear all these incredible stories.
Bilbo is a credit to her owner Philippa and is a very worthy winner of the title.
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15 March 2016
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