Animal Partnership Award Finalists 2024

An award to honour the unique relationships and companionship provided by animals, and/or the achievements of individuals or organisations engaged with animals that support and empower members of the Armed Forces community.

In partnership with Pets at Home.

Introducing the Finalists...

Hero Paws

Hero Paws was formed to provide a bridge of support from military service to a balanced and fulfilled retirement for ex-Service dogs. This has now been expanded to help dogs from various uniformed services and affiliated security or conservation organisations whose retired animals need support. 

Started originally by a small group of military dog handlers who had served shoulder to shoulder with their canine comrades, the Hero Paws team discovered that many of these loyal animals faced euthanasia on returning from active duty due to a lack of resources, experience, and support for their re-adjustment and decompression. 

The unique and unbreakable bond between these animals and their handlers is as strong as any human relationship. They trained together, stood together in war zones, and saved many lives together, sometimes at the cost of their own. Their commitment as humans to their canine brothers and sisters was so strong that they eventually left their careers to form an organisation that could stand up for them and support them beyond their service. 

Hero Paws currently supports 70 dogs and families from all backgrounds, and many more have now been rehabilitated, rehomed, and are living long, happy retirements, together with medical and financial support. 

James 'Jimmy' Hill, Pawseidon

James ‘Jimmy’ Hill’s journey is a testament to resilience and the transformative power of dedication and purpose. Following medical discharge from the Specialist Military Unit Royal Marines Commandos after 14 years exemplary service, and the loss of his Military Working Dog, Zero, James channelled his passion for dogs in a new, inspiring direction. During his two-year rehabilitation, he discovered a calling to help injured dogs recover and to provide top-notch canine training. 

This vision led to the establishment of the Pawseidon Canine Rehabilitation Centre in Poole, Dorset, a sanctuary dedicated to promoting canine wellbeing and alleviating suffering. Pawseidon’s mission is to provide for dogs what Health or Wellness coaches provide for people. The centre quickly gained a reputation as a premier destination for pet owners, veterinarians, and retired military dogs. 

James’ hands-on care, coupled with his dedicated team, has helped scores of injured dogs regain their strength and vitality, enabling them to lead happy and fulfilling lives. His remarkable ability to adapt and thrive in the face of adversity showcases his unwavering determination and courage. James’ story is a shining example of how the love for ‘man’s best friend’ can overcome life’s greatest challenges and inspire incredible achievements. 

Jane Hoare, Service Dogs UK

Jane has been the foster liaison at the charity Service Dogs UK (SDUK) for the last five years, making sure that fosterers and dogs have all the equipment and support they need after getting dogs from rescue, ready to be paired with a veteran. 

Truly dedicated to her task, Jane is instrumental in the assessment of dogs from the Dogs Trust, often travelling hundreds of miles each way. She gets to know the dogs and the veterans, making sure that they are compatible with each other. She has fostered several dogs for the charity herself and provides ongoing support to the veterans in what can only be described as an ‘open all hours’ service. 

A certified dog nutritionist, Jane always shares this knowledge and expertise with the veterans on the programme. Her enthusiasm and passion for what she does is not only clear but infectious and inspirational. 

Jane has helped train and support many veterans in her time with SDUK, many of them being able to return to work as a result of completing the course, and rebuilding confidence and families in the process. 

Congratulate the finalists and join in with our celebrations on social media: #SoldieringOnAwards

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