A non-profit organisation from Leicestershire which trains rescue dogs won the Hero Dog Award at Crufts on Sunday (March 13) in Birmingham.
The organisation Pete Lewin Newfoundlands operates swims where you swim out 50 metres into the lake and the dog will come out and take you back to the shore.
It’s not just in the water where they offer help, but they also do talks for health and wellbeing to sixth formers and also water safety workshops for primary school children, aged 7-11 year olds.
The team consists of four dogs; Storm, Sonar, Walker and Bob but also includes three puppies called Shiba, Rama and Ralph. The team also includes 15 people.
Paramedic Pete Lewin, who founded the organisation, chose Newfoundland dogs because of their heroics, friendliness and because they were “really special and a gentle giant.”
He said his favourite thing about the dogs was “being with them and being down at the water’s edge and being in that lake with them.”
The organisation was up against strong contenders for the award such as Chewie, a rescue dog, who has helped their owner with multiple sclerosis with their confidence, Simba who is a Fire Investigation Dog, Ruby a golden retriever who helps 16-year-old Ruby who has cerebral palsy, and Milo a guide dog.
Pete described the feeling of winning the award: “Incredible, It was very very very emotional, even just going in there and then when I heard them call Pete, Bob, I just didn’t know what to do, just proud as punch, proudest man in the world at that point.”
The group is based in Leicestershire at Stanton Lakes near Hinckley but also travels, with its first swims starting up near Scarborough for a charity called Our Blue Light.