Essex service search and rescue dog team John Ball and his border collie Darcy have won a bravery award for their international work.
Since training Darcy as a puppy, John has gone on to take his four-legged friend to many incidents in Essex. The team were also a part of international rescue efforts in Sumatra in 2009 and in Nepal after the devastating earthquakes last year.
Darcy was the youngest puppy ever to be recruited into the International Search and Rescue team at just 17 months old.
The ceremony was held in Ingatestone where enthusiastic and hardworking, Darcy and John have been said to be to one of the best qualified and most highly respected rescue dog teams in the country.
John said: “It’s great to receive this award. I couldn’t be more proud of Darcy and everything we have achieved and being recognised in this way is a real honour. We both enjoy the work we do and together we have helped rescue teams target their resources and brought closure to many families who have lost loved ones in disasters.”
Peter Purves, the awards’ host, said: “There’s so many ways that dogs help society and this is just one of those, it is important that we recognise that they do such a wonderful job.”
The Service Dog Awards recognise courageous canines and their handlers from the police, fire service and armed forces – those that have gone above and beyond the call of duty.