Assistance dogs provide valuable services to people worldwide. A competition put together by Hill’s Pet Nutrition, with the help of the veterinary journal Clinician’s Brief decided to ask veterinarians to nominate assistance dogs they’ve treated, and then chose the Assistance Dog of the Year. The winner is Scout, a 5-year-old Golden Retriever, who supports a 17-year-old boy with cerebral palsy. Scout helps with picking up dropped items, collecting laundry and closing drawers.
That’s just one of many jobs assistance dogs can take on. “Assistance dogs work every day to improve the quality of their owner’s lives,” said Dr. Jolle Kirpensteijn, the chief professional relations officer at Hill’s Pet Nutrition. “This competition was an opportunity to work with our veterinary healthcare team colleagues to celebrate the outstanding contribution that assistance dogs make and to champion the amazing organizations that train them. The support and companionship these animals provide can transform an individual’s life and often has a positive effect on the entire family.”
Scout’s owner, Duncan Cumby of Stephenville, Texas, will receive a two-year supply of Hill’s Science Diet pet food. Hill’s will also make a donation to the Canine Companion for Independence, the organization that trained Scout.
Since they launched the competition in early 2017, veterinary professionals from around the world have nominated assistance dogs they’ve cared for in their clinic each month. There have been monthly winners too, each of who have won a year supply of pet food.