Arms and explosives dog Billie the Springer Spaniel recently returned from Iraq; Kubo the German Shepherd Dog works as a police dog and Duke, a collie cross spaniel works in vehicle search. They received the Special Award for Bravery overseas, presented by Air Marshall Lord Craig of Radley OBE.
Since 1945, RAF Police Dogs have been employed in the protection of RAF airfields and military assets, the recovery of evidence, public order, the detection of drugs and on anti-terrorist operations. Fourteen animal rescue groups were also honoured for their devotion and tireless effort in rescuing and protecting animal at the awards too.
Wetnose Animal Aid International was launched 10 years ago by Andrea and Gavin Gamby-Boulger. Having run their own boarding and rescue centre for 12 years, they are well aware of the stresses and strains of trying to help and protect animals in need: “Some rescue work, especially abroad, is the most harrowing imaginable, and can be very upsetting and emotional. These caring people, who often put their own lives at risk, deserve more support and recognition,” they said.
The financial recession of 2008/2009 has hit the smaller animal rescue organisations hard. Donations have suffered a deep decline and there has been an increase of cruelty cases and strays. These groups struggle to keep going and it is only with the help of their supporters that they can continue their work in animal rescue.