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Crufts 2015 Dog Heroes Revealed

23 February 2015    10:30
 

A dog that has spent her entire life living in a dementia care home changing the lives of its elderly residents and a dog who miraculously survived a journey that was due to end in him being slaughtered for meat, but who now has a special bond with a six year old boy with cerebral palsy, are two of the finalists for the prestigious Eukanuba Friends for Life competition, at Crufts 2015.

The annual Eukanuba Friends for Life competition at Crufts, run by the Kennel Club, celebrates uplifting stories of friendship in adversity and the four dogs which have made the 2015 shortlist were selected for their exceptional loyalty to their owners and for the way that they have changed their lives.

Voting lines are now open and the dog that goes on to receive the most public votes will win the competition, which will be announced in the Main Arena at the Birmingham NEC, on the final night of Crufts, Sunday 8th March.

The finalists for 2015 are:

  • Crossbreed, Miracle and six year old Kyle Leask from  Strathglass, Inverness - Miracle was saved from being slaughtered for meat in Thailand, after he was photographed strangling himself in a bid to escape from the lorry that he was being transported in, with 1000 other dogs. He was rescued and bought back to the UK and has a special bond with his owner's son, Kyle Leask, who has cerebral palsy and autism.
  • Lhaso Apso, Ellie May and owner Julie Cashell, from Crickhowell Powys- Nine year old Ellie May has been living in Oaklands Care home for people with dementia since she was a puppy, helping to bring happiness and comfort to those in need and alone.
  • Labrador, Pal, and owner Claire Pearson from Sittingbourne in Kent -  Claire Pearson, has type 1 diabetes and end-stage renal failure and her children were young carers, often coming home from school to find her in a diabetic coma on the floor. Pal, a trained medical detection dog, changed the family's lives as he can detect when Claire's blood sugar levels are  dropping or rising meaning that she can now live independently, without fear and her teenage children can have their independence back as well.
  • Crossbreed, Folly, and owner Katy Evans, from Birmingham - Katy was born with cerebral palsy and struggled at University where she became shy and introverted as people could not see past her wheelchair.  Her life changed when she was paired with Folly, a dog trained by the charity Canine Partners, who could do everything from helping Katy dress to lifting her wheelchair plates but who also gave her a new lease of life with his joy and enthusiasm.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: "All of the finalists for the Eukanuba Friends for Life competition demonstrate just how important dogs are to our lives and what a difference they make to us, both in our best times and when things are tough."

Jose Luis Ibanez from Eukanuba, said: "We are so pleased to be part of a competition that celebrates how loyal and loving man's best friend truly is. It is now down to the public to choose the overall winner whose story touches them the most, which will be announced on the final night of Crufts."

The winner of the Eukanuba Friends for Life competition will receive £1,500 and the other finalists will receive £750 from the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, all for their chosen charities.

People can vote for their ultimate 'Eukanuba Friend for Life' at channel4.com/cruftsvote. You can watch videos of the finalists at www.youtube.com/crufts . Find out more information about the competition at  www.crufts.org.uk/eukanubafriendsforlife

ENDS


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