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Felixstowe Dog Lover Wins Outstanding Achievement Award

A dog lover from Felixstowe who has shown an outstanding commitment to man's best friend has won the ROYAL CANINĀ® Outstanding Achievement Award, as part of the Kennel Club's Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme (GCDS) Awards 2015.

Dana Stafford was nominated along with three other inspirational dog lovers from across the UK for the national award, now in its second year, which rewards an individual who has made an outstanding contribution and commitment to responsible dog ownership through the Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme.  This could be through exceptional work on a project, a dog training initiative or an individual dog.

The winner was decided by public vote, with Dana receiving 37 per cent of the vote, securing her victory.

Dana was nominated for the award because of her dedication to training her Old English Sheepdog, Riley, at the Dog Training for Essex and Suffolk Club. Riley was extremely boisterous and Dana initially lacked the confidence to train her.  This could have resulted in Riley becoming out of control if Dana had not committed so much of her time to attending training classes with her; finally managing to achieve the Bronze and Silver GCDS awards with her.

Sadly, after achieving the awards, Riley was diagnosed with chest cancer. Dana kept her happy and occupied throughout her illness by continuing training towards her Gold GCDS award until she died in September 2014.  Dana has since continued her commitment to dogs by training her six month Old English Sheepdog, Piper, and has gained enough confidence to take part in demonstrations at dog events.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: "Dana has shown a remarkable commitment to her dogs and responsible dog ownership and is truly deserving of the award.  We are glad that Dana has received the recognition she deserves for everything she has done and continues to do for her dogs.

The winner of the award was announced at the Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme Awards ceremony at the Kennel Club's head office in London.

Gary Gray, National Sales Manager for Cat & Dog Professionals at ROYAL CANINĀ®, said: ""Dana is a great example of someone who has gone above and beyond for dogs.

"We are thrilled to be able to honour those who have done such great things for the world of dogs through their commitment to responsible dog ownership."