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And the Winner is...

We’re delighted to announce that the winner of our HiLife PAT Dog of the Year Award for 2013/14 is three-year-old Charlie from North Yorkshire!

Charlie, a big-hearted Airedale Terrier, and his delighted owner, Ruth Boyes, who live in Leyburn, picked up the trophy at Crufts on Saturday 8 March from former Eastenders actress and TV personality, Pam St Clement.

Charlie has been a PAT dog for two and a half years and has been busy enriching the lives of adults with severe learning difficulties in Whorlton Hall Hospital, County Durham.

He also spends time behind the bars of H.M.P. Wealstun, Wetherby, where he offers prisoners a link with ‘normal life’ and visits a young offenders’ prison which houses extremely vulnerable boys aged 15 to 17. Busy Charlie is also a regular visitor to Brentwood Care Home in Leyburn where he’s proving to be very popular with the residents.

Ruth, who is an assessor for Pets As Therapy, first became interested in the charity when she noticed how her dog Sandy behaved around her seriously ill grandson.  Born with severe cerebral palsy, Robert died when he was just two years old. Ruth told us: “Sandy had never particularly liked children but she would sit with Robert and allow him to touch her. He suffered from uncontrollable spasms and would sometimes grab her quite hard but she never seemed to mind. She seemed more aware of his condition than some humans did.”

We’re absolutely thrilled for Charlie and Ruth, who also received £500 and three months’ supply of our HiLife dog food. The work these dogs do never fails to amaze us. They all deserve to win but a big well done to Charlie for coming out on top.

Pets As Therapy is an independently funded charity with over 5,000 volunteers. Their registered PAT dogs provide animal assisted therapy and bring comfort, smiles and friendship to 1000s of people every week. The charity is always on the look out for more volunteers and dogs. For more information, visit www.petsastherapy.org or call 01844 345 445.

Charlie was chosen by a celebrity panel and the readers of Pets As Therapy’s media partner , Yours Magazine, who published the competition.

Well done Charlie! Keep up the good work! 

11 March 2014

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