Local dog awarded P.A.T. Dog of the Year at Crufts

11 March 2013
PaT Dog Scrabble and his proud owner - Ann Burrell
PaT Dog Scrabble and his proud owner – Ann Burrell

The highly celebrated title of ‘HiLife P.A.T. Dog of the Year 2012/13’ has been awarded to (Pets as Therapy) P.A.T. dog Scrabble, a very special Leonberger from North Yorkshire.

Scrabble, from Pannal near Harrogate, has been recognised for his hard work; making an incredible 300 visits in just three years. With his owner Ann Burrell, Scrabble is a regular visitor to a local hospice, three care homes, including the Larchfield Manor Care Home, and a rehabilitation centre in the area.

Scrabble has also worked with dog phobic twins and the progress has been remarkable.

Sharon their mother said:

The twins would not leave the house in fear of meeting a dog or cat. In the first hour of meeting Scrabble my son was stroking him, my daughter, a little more cautious, took a few sessions, but by the end they were both stroking him.” Sharon adds; “If it hadn’t been for Ann and Scrabble we would not be the family we are now. We want to say thank you for everything Ann and Scrabble have done for our family.


Olive, from Larchfield Manor Care Home, approaching her 100th year said:

To receive a visit from Scrabble is so uplifting. The minute he enters the room every face bursts into a smile. He brings happiness to everyone.


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Ann Burrell, Scrabble’s owner said:

He epitomises all that Pets As Therapy stands for; he gives unconditional love to everyone he meets.

P.A.T. dog Scrabble was voted ‘HiLife P.A.T. Dog of the Year 2012/13’ by a celebrity panel that included celebrity Pam St. Clement from Eastenders; actor and comedian, Roy Baraclough; celebrity chef, James Martin; Editor of Yours magazine, Valery McConnel, together with readers of Yours magazine, and Town & Country Petfoods’ Managing Director, Tony Parkinson.

P.A.T. dog Scrabble was presented with her award at Crufts 2013 by Town & Country Petfoods’ Managing Director, Tony Parkinson; Editor of Yours magazine, Valery McConnel; Chief Executive of Pets As Therapy, Lisa Coles; and Chairman of Crufts, Gerald King. The award comprises a cheque for £500, three months’ supply of HiLife dog food and a specially engraved piece of crystal.

Tony Parkinson said:

P.A.T. dog Scrabble and his owner Ann Burrell are a hard-working and caring team and I’m delighted to be able to award them both with this highly celebrated prize. It takes time and commitment to become a Pets As Therapy volunteer and all the finalists have shown great dedication and empathy in the valued service they provide their local communities. Their work really does change people’s lives and all of us at HiLife are extremely proud to be playing our part in celebrating and supporting such a worthy cause.

Five runners-up, who each received awards of £100, a month’s supply of HiLife dog food and a specially engraved piece of crystal were Holly, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and her owner Susan Perks from Leicester; Jason, a Lurcher, and his owner Katie Tomkinson from Catterick; Nala, a Golden Retriever, and her owner Sandy Kennedy from Brighton; and Kira, a Husky, and her owner Sandra Heathcote from Nottingham; Tuppence, a Whippet and her owner Diana Woodhall from Hexam.

Pets As Therapy’s 5,000 volunteers and their registered P.A.T. dogs bring much-needed therapeutics, care, smiles and friendship to over 150,000 people every week.

For further information contact Pets As Therapy on 01844 345 445 or visit  www.petsastherapy.org

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