At this year’s Crufts, the charity Hounds for Heroes received a cheque for £20,000 from Pfizer Animal Health to pay for the purchase and training of a new puppy, who will be named Vanguard.
The charity, founded in 2010 by Gulf War veteran Allen Parton (pictured right of photo, with his young assistance dog EJ), provides specially trained assistance dogs to injured and disabled men and women of both the UK armed forces and civilian emergency services.
Allen spent five years in hospital coming to terms with his injuries after a head injury wiped out his memories, leaving him unable to walk, speak or write. He was paired with his first dog, yellow Labrador Endal who, says Allen, “literally saved my life”. Endal’s successor EJ (which stands for Endal Junior) is the first dog to be trained with the support of Hounds for Heroes.
The charity scours the country to find the right puppies and new trainee Vanguard will be chosen from more than 140 pups. He and his fellow recruits will stay with a puppy parent for 14 months before progressing to intensive training, which will ultimately prepare them to be partnered with an injured member of the armed forces.
Find out more about Hounds for Heroes at www.houndsforheroes.com