Press release - Dogs for the Disabled Announce Paint a Pet Winner 2009

Paint a Pet – the winner! Rebecca Wrench (aged 9) from Manchester saw off 51 regional winners to be crowned Paint a Pet National Winner 2009. In the run up to the July closing date, children were invited the length and breadth of the UK to create a portrait of their pet in the hope of winning a special prize – their chance to become a trainer for a day with the assistance dog charity Dogs for the Disabled. Companion Care Vet Surgeries, who hosted the competition through their 52 practices, selected a winner at each surgery. Each winner received an art and craft pack, and were put through to be judged in the final with a chance to win the top prize. All of the winning vibrant pictures can be viewed online at Dogs for the Disabled and Companion Care. They are also featured on the vet channel TV (within the Companion Care Vet Surgeries) and will be used as artwork for booster reminder cards. Wonderful! Later this year, Rebecca and her parents will be visiting Dogs for the Disabled’s northern centre, located just outside Wakefield, to take part in a special training experience. Rebecca will have the opportunity to learn how to train each element of the taskwork taught to the dogs in training, so that one day, they will provide practical help to their partner as an accredited assistance dog. The prize doesn’t stop there as Rebecca also wins sponsorship of a puppy for a year, and so will be regularly kept up-to-date with Ruby’s performance as she whizzes through her training. Allie Hogsbjerg, Communications officer for Dogs for the Disabled commented, “We are delighted to be able to award Rebecca with her special prize. Her painting of Domino, a Dalmatian dog, really captured the spirit of what our Paint a Pet competition is all about – the fun and joy a pet can bring to someone’s life. We look forward to meeting Rebecca later this year when she comes to our centre for her day with our assistance dogs in training.” An assistance dog can change the life of a disabled person dramatically. They are trained to undertake a range of practical tasks that most of us take for granted. Imagine not being able to do the simplest of tasks like pick up the keys you dropped, take off a wet jacket when you get home from shopping or even pull a duvet over you if it falls off in the night. For people with a range of disabilities, these tasks are practically impossible and could for some, put them in harm’s way of braking brittle bones or dislocating a joint. To view Rebecca’s winning masterpiece along with the other surgery-winning entries, please visit Dogs for the Disabled website at For more information about Companion Care Vet Surgeries please visit For more information: Allie Hogsbjerg Communications Officer Tel: 01295 252600 Mobile: 07876 597331 Email: Editors Notes During 2009, Dogs for the Disabled will be celebrating 21 years of working to support disabled people through the provision of an assistance dog, helping people to live life more independently. During the course of their years of service, the charity has been at the forefront of pioneering new services and programmes for a range of people with disabilities. Dogs for the Disabled were the first assistance dog charity in the UK to provide an assistance dog for a child and have pioneered the development of assistance dogs supporting a family with a child with autism.


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