Dogs recognised for inspiring and making an impact across Australia

From Guide Dogs and Therapy Dogs to Blood Donor Dogs, Police Dogs and Conservation Detector Dogs, and every noble pooch in between, the Australian Dog of the Year Awards have confirmed just how incredible and inspiring our doggos are!

Puppy Tales announces the 2022 Australian Dog of the Year and People’s Choice Award, including a Bonus Prize – dogs recognised for inspiring and making an incredible impact in the lives of people, the environment or other animals.

“Reading the entries of nobble dogs has been moving, funny and always endearing,” said Kerry Martin, international award-winning pet photographer and founder of Puppy Tales, a website aimed at helping pet owners make the most of life with their fur family.

“We’re reminded once again of just how incredible our doggos are, and seen how ordinary Paw- stralians from across our nation have helped their people through difficult times and made a difference to others and the communities that they live in.

“We’ve found ourselves smiling, laughing and even reaching for the tissues as we’ve read through the beautiful stories of our Aussie fur family and the people they’ve helped. Once again, it’s been highlighted that for many of us, our puppers are our best friends, closest companions and furry superheroes!”

You can read all the finalists’ full entries here The winners’ chosen registered charity will receive $1,000 donation from Puppy Tales.

Australian Dog of the Year
Harry, blind story dog – Melbourne – Chosen charity: Story Dogs

Before Covid, Harry was a Story Dog at a local primary school, where he listened to reluctant readers and helped build up their confidence. Harry, being blind, couldn’t tell what the story was about from looking at the pictures, so his owner Barbara Allen would ask the children to read carefully so Harry could understand the story. Harry also helped students understand that having a disability or a difference did not mean they weren’t special, couldn’t have fun or make friends.

“Harry is our Paralympian, bringing home gold every day!” said Barbara.

People’s Choice Award
Poppi the Guide Dog – Sydney – Chosen Charity: Guide Dogs NSW/ACT

Nine years ago, Liz Stojan lost her sight, her job and the ability to do ordinary things like crossing roads, cooking food or getting to the shops. She lost all hope and then Poppi changed everything.

“Poppi is not only an amazing guide dog but a brilliant counsellor who has brought comfort and healing to many,” said Liz, Poppi’s owner.

Pet Circle Bonus Prize
Rocky – Conservation Dog Southern Queensland Landscape  – Toowoomba QLD

Every year, Rocky single-handedly saves the lives of 30,000 plus endangered green loggerhead and flat back turtle hatchlings and further helps protect the 10,000 endangered Mary River turtles. He has also helped restore the population of critically endangered bilbies from feral cats at Currawinya National Park, making him an international hero.

“Rocky’s job is tough and dangerous, and he shows courage everyday he ventures out to protect the environment,” Rocky’s buddy and handler, Tom Garrett.

Kerry found all the finalists and many other nominations to be amazing dogs but would like to give a special mention to finalists Kelli the Kelpie cross, Tildy the Corgi and Trixiebelle the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. (Their stories here)

Source: Puppy Tales