Millions of pounds change hands at Crufts each year, but on the Hounds for Heroes stand the money changing hands was for an altogether different, life changing reason: the purchase of the next puppy to join Hounds for Heroes.

Millions of pounds change hands at Crufts each year, but on the Hounds for Heroes stand the money changing hands was for an altogether different, life changing reason: the purchase of the next puppy to join Hounds for Heroes.

Hounds for Heroes founder Allen Parton is presented with a cheque for £20,000.Established in 2010 by Gulf War veteran Allen Parton, Hounds for Heroes provides specially trained assistance dogs to injured and disabled men and women of both the UK armed forces and civilian emergency services.

Announced as Pfizer Animal Health‘s charitable partner for 2012, the company’s original £2,500 donation has increased a massive eight times to £20,000 to pay for a puppy to join the charity’s second squadron of assistance dogs.

Jonny Lambert, area veterinary manager for Pfizer Animal Health, who presented the cheque, was delighted to meet with members of the forces and emergency services who attended the presentation. He was particularly interested to meet EJ, Allen’s assistance dog who helped to pass the cheque to Allen.

He said: “Allen spoke to the Pfizer Animal Health team earlier this year and left us stunned and humbled. He spent five years in hospital coming to terms with his injuries after a tragic war time head injury wiped out Allen’s memories leaving him unable to walk, speak or write.

“To hear what Allen went through in his recovery before Endal, and then to see how life-changing that yellow Labrador was for Allen, his family and friends is nothing short of miraculous. We hope that the new puppy our donation will pay for will one day have the same life-changing impact for another member of the armed forces who will have put their life on the line for us.”

Receiving the cheque for Hounds for Heroes were Mr Parton and his young dog EJ (Endal Junior), the first dog to be trained under the auspices of Hounds for Heroes.

Pfizer's Jonny Lambert presents a ‘temporary puppy’ to Allen Parton and EJAs EJ took delivery of the cheque, Mr Parton said: “The mental and physical help provided by a trained assistance dog cannot be over-egged, EJ’s predecessor, Endal, literally saved my life. There are currently more than 900,000 injured men and women in the country today and if money were no object we would ensure that every single one of them had access to a Hounds for Heroes dog. While that’s not currently possible, with the support of Pfizer we are one step further.”

Hounds for Heroes scour the country to find the right puppy. To recruit for Squadron Two, which will include the Pfizer funded puppy named Vanguard, the team have looked at more than 140 puppies.

Once purchased, Vanguard and his fellow recruits will stay with a puppy parent for 14 months before progressing onto intensive training, which will ultimately prepare him to be partnered with an injured member of the forces.

The donation from Pfizer Animal Health is just the start of the year-long commitment to the charity. An additional £650 has already been raised by employees at the Walton Oaks head office and a broader campaign is currently in the planning phases for launch later this year.

 

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