A dog who was rescued from the dog meat trade and transformed the life of his young owner with cerebral palsy will launch the search for the 2016 winner of the annual Eukanuba Friends for Life competition.
Miracle, crowned winner of the Kennel Club’s annual dog hero competition at Crufts last year by the British public, will launch the competition at Eukanuba Discover Dogs at ExCeL London on 17 and 18 October.
Nominations are being sought for the 2016 winner from anybody who feels that their life, or the life of somebody they know, has be transformed by a dog – whether this be a companion dog, a service dog, assistance dog or an all-round dog hero.
The nominations will be whittled down to a shortlist and a panel of judges will select four finalists who will go forward to the final at Crufts on 13th March 2016, where the overall winner, selected by public vote, will be announced before the grand finale of the Crufts Best in Show award.
Last year the competition was won by Miracle, who was rescued from the slaughter house in Thailand where he was to be killed for dog meat and whose companionship, since coming to the UK, transformed the life of his six year old owner, Kyle Leask, who has cerebral palsy. Kyle’s mum, Amanda Leask, will do a lap of honour with Miracle at Eukanuba Discover Dogs in the Main Ring at 2pm on Saturday 17 October, where the competition will be launched.
Annaliese Reekie, General Manager at Eukanuba said: “We were overwhelmed with the number of entries last year and it was incredible to see how many people’s lives have been transformed by the companionship, skills and bravery of dogs. We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Kennel Club to recognise the extraordinary relationship between man and dogs. Eukanuba Friends for Life celebrates the unique and special relationship between dogs and people and we can’t wait to hear about the amazing stories that will be shared in the Friends for Life competition.”
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “We see such a diverse array of dogs enter this competition and each is so deserving. We are looking forward to welcoming Miracle to Eukanuba Discover Dogs and his story represents all that this competition is about. It is one of true transformation and, despite all of the odds, he has not only survived but thrived, helping to enrich the life of Kyle, and to give him confidence.
“We encourage anybody whose dog has earned the title of Friend for Life to put them forward for recognition in this competition.”
To watch the Eukanuba Friends for Life film and to nominate a Friend for Life please fill in the online form at www.crufts.org.uk/content/eukanuba-friends-for-life-2016/