After being awarded the PDSA Order of Merit earlier this year, Max the Miracle Dog now has a bronze statue in his likeness in his hometown of Keswick, Cumbria.
English Springer Spaniel Max became an online star as his owner Kerry Irving’s regularly posted photos and videos of their antics in the Lakes on social media. Max’s owner Kerry Irving, who suffered from chronic pain and undiagnosed depression after a serious accident, credits him for helping him turn his life around – and the ‘miracle dog’ has helped many more since. When the pandemic hit in 2020 Max’s daily live broadcasts resulted in him becoming the world’s virtual therapy dog.
“Their daily Facebook Live videos became a lifeline for hundreds of thousands when the world went into lockdown, helping people through incredibly dark times of isolation, grief, loneliness, anxiety and fear,” vet charity PDSA says. “In February 2021, Max was presented with the PDSA Order of Merit, also known as the animals OBE, for his outstanding contribution to society.
“Now his statue, which has been designed and made by local sculptor Kirsty Armstrong, is a permanent tribute to Keswick’s most famous dog.”
Reacting to the unveiling, Max’s owner Kerry Irving said, “Hope Park is the perfect location as Max has brought hope to so many people. It’s incredible that our little boy, proudly wearing his PDSA Order of Merit, will now be sat there and remembered for generations to come.”
The statue was paid for by a crowdfunding campaign, which raised £26,000 in a single day – so much that Kerry was able to donate additional funds to PDSA.
Amy Dickin, Awards and Heritage Manager at PDSA, said, “Max has become a symbol of hope and happiness to thousands of people and we were thrilled to honour him with the PDSA Order of Merit, in recognition of his service to society as a virtual therapy dog.
“This beautiful statue is a fitting tribute to Max and will give his fans the chance to ‘meet’ him whenever they visit Hope Park. Kerry has worked so hard to make this happen too – he will no doubt be very proud of his boys today.”