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Pets As Therapy/Pro Dogs
Local dog wins outstanding charity award

PAT Dog of the Year winner, Topher, pictured with proud owner Reverend Chris Colledge

The UK’s outstanding dogs and cats were present at the PAT Dog & Cat of the Year 2002/03 Awards ceremony organised by PAT sponsors Iams petfood and were held at the Kennel Club in London this week, when the PAT Dog of the Year Award was presented to Topher and Reverend Chris Colledge from Ealing, West London.

The awards, created by charity Pets As Therapy and sponsored by Iams, were held to raise awareness of the achievements of PAT dogs and cats and their owners contributions over the last year. Pets As Therapy (PAT) was founded in 1983 and is the UK’s leading charity in the provision of visiting animals to hospitals, hospices, nursing and care homes. Volunteers take their own trained pets to visit the unwell and elderly and there are currently around 4,000 active PAT hospital visiting dogs in the UK, and every week they visit more than 100,000 people both young and old across the UK. All PAT dogs and cats are fed Iams with Dental Care which as well as keeping their coat soft and shiny to stroke, the dental care ingredient helps keep their breath fresh.

The PAT Dog of the Year winner, Topher is a Labrador Retriever owned by Reverend Chris Colledge. Topher works for the Royal Association in aid of Deaf People, Ealing, West London, and was nominated by Sister Chris of Halcrow Street, Stepney where Reverend Colledge is the chaplin for deaf and blind people. She said; “Topher is a marvellous companion and an invaluable co-worker.” Topher and Reverend Colledge were presented with a cheque for £500 by Alison Smith on behalf of Iams and Jan Fennell, author of international best selling books The Dog Listener and The Practical Dog Listener. They also received a six month supply of Iams with DentalCare pet food to make sure Topher stays in great health.

Reverend Chris Colledge said: “We’re extremely proud to receive this award and to be associated with a charity that does so much in terms of helping people gain benefit from interacting with dogs and cats.”

“Pets As Therapy are delighted to have had so much support from Iams, a company which so obviously understands the importance of animals to people, and particularly patients in hospitals, hospices, residential homes, day care centres and special needs schools” said Maureen Hennis, Northern Director of Pets As Therapy.

“Pets As Therapy is an incredible and as of yet a fairly unrecognised charity which brings pleasure to thousands per year. We love our pets in this country and the charity helps more people enjoy animals. Iams in passionate about the health and welfare of dogs and cats and are proud to support the awards and such a valuable charity. We understand how people feel about their dogs and cats and we want them to enjoy a longer, healthier and happier life together”, said Justine Davey, Iams Brand Manager.