Orvis PAT Dog of the Year Award
In association with Yours magazine, every year we award a dog that best deserves the title PAT Dog of the Year. After nominations are submitted, six finalists are chosen — then the voting begins. Our 2021 Award is once again sponsored by Orvis, our corporate supporter. More details on how you can enter will be posted here soon.
The winner will receive £500 plus a beautiful crystal trophy, special rosette and certificate.
5 runners-up will also receive prizes of £100 cash, a crystal trophy, rosette and certificate.
Our 2020 finalists
We had a huge number of nominees that were whittled down to six amazing finalists.
Gunner: 2020 winner
Gunner was nominated by a primary school and children’s care home. One dyslexic pupil at the school said: “Gunner is my hero because he helps people. I feel happy and confident reading to him, he doesn’t judge me and my confidence is growing.” Staff at the Children’s Home, meanwhile, said: “Gunner brings fun and happiness to us all and the children have built a lovely trusting relationship with him.”
Scout has worked in schools for nearly four years, including a failing school where he supports reluctant readers, including students with behavioural problems and those with little or no English. One teacher said Scout’s help had been “transformational” to the pupils’ reading which has in turn led to other achievements in school. “Scout has helped develop a love of books in the students which they will take forward throughout their lives.”
Minty was nominated by nine establishments including a nursing home, two hospitals, a dementia care home, a university, primary school and nursery. One of the nominees said: “Minty helped a young boy overcome his dog phobia with his friendly manner.” Meanwhile staff at one of the hospitals said: “Minty lifts the energy of the entire paediatric ward when he visits children, many of whom have been in hospital a long time.”
Lottie, who was rescued from life as a street dog in Romania, has been nominated by a hospital and day hospice. A senior sister at the hospital she visits said: “When Lottie recently visited two particularly ill patients, we saw them smile for the first time.” Meanwhile, at the hospice where many guests have limited communication, they love Lottie so much their eyes light up when they hear her name.
Norman joined Pets as Therapy after his owner’s daughter received PAT Dog visits at her hospital bedside. Norman was nominated by a mental health unit, a hospital and a school where his visits are “the highlight of the day”. Hospital staff say when Norman visits “the mood of the ward becomes so calm and peaceful,” while a student at the school he visits says “Norman always makes me feel happy.”
Misty was nominated by a high-security prison she has been visiting for three years. The prison officer said “Many individuals have complex issues but Misty calms them, reduces anxiety and gives them some normality.” One of the prisoners said: “for the first time in four years I have stopped self-harming and I have gained more love in two years from Misty than any human has given me in 47 years.”
In 2019 Bella the PAT dog, a Bichon Frise, was announced as the winner of the PAT Dog of the Year Competition 2019. We spoke to her owner, volunteer Barry Coase about their volunteer visits to Eastbourne District General Hospital, Southdowns Community Special Needs School, and Combat Stress. We also found out how Bella has helped him personally with managing his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after leaving a career in the Armed Forces.