Haatchi is a top dog. Not only was he the winner of this year’s Drontal ‘Give your dog a bone award’, he’s also the current ‘International Fund for Animal Welfare’ (IFAW) ‘Animal of the Year’. He was presented with this accolade by rock guitarist, Brian May, at a prestigious House of Lords reception.
His achievements are even more special because Haatchi – a fifteen month-old Anatolian Shepherd – is a rescue dog. He was appallingly treated by his previous owners who chained him to a railway line resulting in him being run over by a train. Despite horrific injuries, Haatchi survived, making a good recovery from the amputation of a rear leg and his tail.
Thanks to the work of ‘UK German Shepherd Rescue’, a permanent home was found for him in Hampshire with the Hoskins family; father Will, step-mum Colleen Drummond and seven-year old Owen.
“Haatchi won his award partly for bravery, but mainly because of what he gives to others,” says Sue Crilly. Sue is the owner of Driver Hire Fenland. Her office sponsors ‘UK German Shepherd Rescue’ for whom Sue is a central fund-raising co-ordinator.
“Owen Howkins suffers from a rare genetic condition and Haatchi has become an important part of his life,” she continues. “He’s been with Owen through some tough physio sessions and helped him overcome shyness.”
As a result of his work with Owen, Haatchi is now a ‘therapy dog’, working with various charities including ‘Starlight Children’s Foundation’, ‘Make a Wish Foundation’ as well as visiting children’s hospices and hospitals.
“Haatchi really is a champion,” says Sue who was present at the House of Lords to see him receive his award. “We’re delighted that funds raised by Driver Hire and its clients at industry events such as Truckfest have played a part in helping, not just Haatchi, but other German Shepherd dogs who have been ill treated. And, of course, Haatchi is repaying us by helping other people, all of whom benefit from knowing him.”