UK’s Most Heroic Dogs Sought for Prestigious Competition

(Kennel Club Press Release) Nominations for dogs that have truly earned the title of man’s best friend are being sought by the Kennel Club for its annual Friends for Life competition being held at the country’s most prestigious dog event, Crufts.

The dog hero competition, Friends for Life, will take place at the NEC in Birmingham on 9th March 2014. Friends for Life celebrates heart-warming stories of friendship in adversity, where dogs have changed the lives of their owners through bravery, support or companionship.

The Kennel Club wants to hear from people who feel that their life, or the life of somebody that they know, has been changed dramatically by their dog, whether a companion dog, service dog, assistance dog or an all-round dog hero.

The deadline for nominations is 19th January 2014 and the dogs will be chosen from a shortlist by the general public. The winning dog will be announced on Sunday 9th March 2013 in the NEC Arena in Birmingham, before the grand finale of the Crufts Best in Show award.

Last year the competition was won by Owen Howkins and his three-legged Anatolian Shepherd dog, Haatchi (below). Owen has a rare genetic condition called Schwartz Jampel Syndrome, which causes his muscles to be permanently tense and has left him in a wheelchair, but his rescue dog companion Haatchi, who lost a leg after being cruelly tied to a railway line, taught him how to overcome adversity.

Last year's Friends for Life winners Owen and Haatchi

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club spokesperson, said: “Friends for Life celebrates those dogs which quietly go about changing people’s lives in their own unique and special way.

“There is rarely a dry eye in the house during the competition and we are looking forward to hearing from those people who want to thank their dog for changing their lives forever, by recognising them on the world’s greatest dog stage.

“Friends for Life is just one aspect of Crufts that celebrates the diverse role that dogs play in society and the way that they enrich our lives.”

To nominate a dog, please email details of why you think the dog should win the award to Andrea Peters at andrea.peters@thekennelclub.org.uk, fill in the form or write to Andrea Peters, The Kennel Club, 1-5 Clarges Street, Piccadilly, London W1J 8AB.

To watch footage of the 2013 Friends for Life finalists, please click here.

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