Milton Keynes rescue dog named as finalist in Crufts hero awards

    A local rescue dog who was passed through multiple homes and deemed ‘naughty and neurotic’, but has gone on to become a life-saving medical detection dog, has been announced as a finalist in the prestigious Kennel Club Hero Dog Award.

    Launching the world’s biggest celebration of dogs, Crufts, today (Wednesday 22 February), The Kennel Club and broadcaster Kay Burley announced the five hero dogs that will compete in the public vote for the award, with the winner being announced at Crufts 2023.

    10-year-old Asher, who has today been named as finalist in the Rescue Dog Hero category of The Kennel Club award, was taken on by the Medical Detection Dogs charity as a rescue, having been rehomed multiple times by the age of three.

    He was deemed ‘naughty’ and ‘neurotic’,  but it was soon realised he just needed to be busy. 

    Asher happily found a home, and a life-saving job, with Dr Claire Guest, founder of Medical Detection Dogs based in Milton Keynes, which uses the amazing power of the dog’s nose to detect human diseases. 

    Asher is now one of the most experienced members of the Bio Detection team at the organisation – which is helping scientists and medics develop faster and cheaper ways to detect diseases – and has played a huge part in helping to prove that dogs can detect the odour of disease and be a fast, accurate and non-invasive method of diagnosis for some of the world's biggest killers, including Parkinson’s disease, malaria and Covid-19.

    Kay Burley, speaking as an ambassador of The Kennel Club Hero Dog Award ahead of the unveiling of this year’s five finalists at Green Park, London, today, said: “These five special dogs are not only heroes to their owners but also to the rest of us. They make a huge difference every day by providing love, companionship and dedication, and protecting the nation and saving lives.

    “No one can deny the remarkable impact dogs have, from the joy they bring each day, to being by our side during the hardest times and showing extraordinary loyalty and bravery.

    "The Kennel Club Hero Dog Award is a celebration of this unique bond we share with dogs and their heroic feats – please vote for your four-legged hero and celebrate these five inspirational dogs.”

    The annual Kennel Club Hero Dog Award celebrates the unique relationships people have with their dogs and the important role man’s best friend plays throughout our lives and in society.

    Judges from The Kennel Club, the UK’s largest dog welfare organisation, selected the five inspiring finalists to go forward for the public vote, with the winner being announced by Kay in the Resorts World Arena at Birmingham NEC, and on Channel 4, on the final day of Crufts, the world’s greatest dog show, on Sunday 12 March.

    These five canine heroes are just some of the dogs having their day at Crufts and being celebrated at the show for the ways in which they change our lives. 

    The award this year is also honouring those dogs involved with the search and rescue mission in Turkey and Syria after the horrific earthquake. These heroic teams will be specially recognised at Crufts for their bravery and dedication. 

    The winner of The Kennel Club Hero Dog Award will receive £5,000 from The Kennel Club Charitable Trust for the dog charity of their choice, with the other finalists receiving a £1,000 donation to their chosen canine charity.

    The public can now watch each of the finalist’s stories, including Asher’s, in specially-made videos, and vote for their Hero Dog 2023, until 4pm on Sunday 12 March, by visiting the website.

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