A Staffordshire bull terrier from Jersey proved he was a ‘hot dog’ at Crufts when he was crowned winner of the HiLife PAT Dog of the Year.
Sausage and his proud owner, Angie Seedhouse, who are both volunteers with the charity Pets As Therapy, appeared in the Crufts arena at Birmingham’s NEC with the five other finalists.
After readers of Yours magazine voted for their favourite dogs – all regular visitors to schools, hospitals and care homes – Sausage was named as HiLife PAT Dog of the Year 2016/17 after receiving the most votes.
Angie said: “I have a treat waiting for him in the car and I’m sure he will celebrate with a good run around the garden with his daughter. He’s a real stand-out dog from a loveable breed that are sometimes misunderstood, but this shows their true temperament and love of people.
Each week, Sausage visits St Ewolds residential home, where the residents each have different needs. If he senses that someone is having a bad day or has been ill, he sits with them a little longer. He also works with people who suffer from phobias, even helping one man to overcome his fear of dogs.
Sausage has also become known for his ‘sausage roll’ – something that is particularly popular with a 102-year-old woman he visits.
Pets As Therapy is an independently funded charity with more than 5,000 volunteers. Its registered PAT dogs provide animal-assisted therapy and bring comfort, smiles and friendship to thousands of people every week.
The PAT Dog of the Year competition is sponsored by HiLife, the pet food brand produced by Town & Country Petfoods, based in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.
Managing director Tony Parkinson said he was delighted to see Sausage and Angie walk away with this year’s title.
“I would firstly like to congratulate Sausage and Angie on receiving this award. Once again, the standard of entries was incredibly high so they have done very well indeed,” he said.
“It is always wonderful to hear the moving stories of the Pets as Therapy volunteers. These dogs clearly bring much joy to the lives of their owners, and it’s great that they can share this with others in their community.
“We have been sponsoring this award for more than a decade now and it is always a privilege to be there as the winner is announced and, of course, meet the owners.”
Angie and Sausage were presented with a cheque for £500 and three months’ supply of HiLife goodies, with the runner-up receiving a one-month supply.