Pawsome heroes making waves in their communities...
We call dogs man’s best friend because of their loving, loyal nature. But sometimes they’re so much more than our best friends – they’re heroes too.
June 21st was Bring Your Dog To Work day, so this month we’re shining a light on some of the heroic dogs working alongside their owners to make our world a better place.
Keeping our beaches clean…
Koda, a Northern Inuit crossbreed, and her owner Wayne Dixon, a retired army veteran are British heroes. They have collected over 50 tonnes of rubbish left behind on UK beaches, in memory of Wayne’s father John, who sadly passed away in 2012. The pair filled over 10,000 bin bags of rubbish as they travelled the country on an epic litter picking journey.
On their journey around the UK, they attended local schools and community groups to give talks to young people about the importance of protecting our environment, and disposing of rubbish responsibly.
Commenting on the state of British beaches, Wayne said: “You’d think the environmental message about the harm caused by littering would have hit home by now, but people still discard rubbish on the beaches, which then gets washed out to sea, causing marine pollution.”
Guarding against loneliness…
Alfie the Labrador is an everyday hero, who volunteers with his owner Sean at Wag & Company. Launched in 2016, the organisation works across North East England to connect older dog lovers who can no longer have their own pet with friendly local dogs. The visits provide an opportunity for older people to have someone to chat with, to exchange stories about the pets of their past, and to build fulfilling relationships with dogs and humans alike.
A few years ago, John Robson, 88, lost his beloved wife, Nora after 64 years of marriage. He’d also lost his 20-year-old Border Terrier Mick. When loneliness set in, John reached out to Wag & Company, explaining that his life felt empty. Since then he found friends in Sean and Alfie the Labrador.
Speaking about his experience, John said: “Now I have a wonderful relationship with these lovely friends and my life has completely changed.”
All in a day’s work…
Meet Molly – a one of a kind cocker spaniel dog who has a promising career finding lost cats alongside her owner, who works as a private detective. Molly had a turbulent start in life, and was on her third home due to her strong working disposition, before she was rescued from a shelter by her owner, Colin.
Molly and her owner, pet detective Colin Butcher respond to calls from worried families whose cats go missing. Over the past decade, more than 100,000 cats have been reported missing in the UK and many of them will die if they are trapped and not able to access food or water. If this dynamic duo are contacted within the first 24 hours of a cat’s disappearance, they have an 80% chance of successfully reuniting the missing cat with their family.
Molly has harnessed her powerful sense of smell to locate 76 missing cats in the last few years. She has become the UK’s first ‘cat detection dog’, trained by Medical Detection Dogs - a ground breaking charity that trains dogs to detect cancer and provide medical alerts and assistance for people with life-threatening conditions. The charity describe her as very intelligent and following several months' of scent discrimination training, she was able to use her nose to 'detect' a specific individual cat.