March 17, 2016 – Bilbo Baggins, who lives in Ashtead, England, with his owner Philippa Cadge, has won the UK’s 2016 Pets as Therapy Dog of the Year.
For the last four years, Bilbo, six, and Philippa, 76, have been visiting Cherry Trees in East Clandon, which runs respite for children with disabilities. The pair are also regular faces at the Furze Hill Lodge Care Home, for elderly people, in Kingswood.
“I am absolutely thrilled to bits to have won. Bilbo Baggins makes such a difference to the people he sees at Cherry Trees and at Furze Hill, so it’s wonderful to be acknowledged like this,” said Philippa, adding, “I can’t wait to share the news with the people at Cherry Trees, because it was them who decided Bilbo deserved to be nominated.”
Since Pets As Therapy launched in 1983, close to 30,000 dogs have been enrolled in the scheme, with thousands making therapeutic visits to homes, hospitals and schools across the UK every week.
Cheryl Tissot, CEO of Pets As Therapy, said: “Our congratulations go to Philippa and Bilbo on a well deserved win…We are exceptionally proud of the 5,000 plus volunteers who deliver such good work throughout their communities as part of Pets As Therapy.”
Philippa, who was planning a glass of celebratory Champagne with her husband, also received a £500 cheque from award sponsor, HiLife.
Pets As Therapy is always keen to hear from those who are interested in joining, for more information visit www.petsastherapy.org