As we prepare to embark on a new year lets take a moment to look back at royals who helped to shine a spotlight on a variety of paws causes in 2017, and in the process showed the world that dogs rule!
From his mother’s coterie of corgis to his Labs and Jack Russell Terriers, Prince Charles has always been a fan of Fidos, and he made fast friends with Little Dorrit, a six-year-old Miniature Pinscher at St. Thomas’ Hospital in central London during his visit to mark the 70th anniversary of the British Geriatrics’ Society. Named after a Charles Dickens novel, the tiny therapy dog offers compassion to patients who are facing a difficult chapter in their lives due to the effects of dementia. Approximately 850,000 people in the UK are presently living with this dreaded disorder, but pet/pet parent teams like Little Dorrit and her human are helping to alleviate some of the fear felt by those who have been diagnosed by working with Pets as Therapy. Founded in 1983, the charity provides therapy animal visits to hospitals, hospices, nursing homes and special needs homes throughout the United Kingdom.
After six decades of dogged devotion to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, in December 2016 Queen Elizabeth relinquished her title as royal patron of the renowned animal welfare charity. Two months later the monarch’s daughter-in-law Her Royal Highness Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall happily took up the mantle. A proud pet parent to Beth and Bluebell, two Jack Russell Terriers adopted from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, the Duchess has a long history with the animal charity, having officially opened Battersea’s cattery in 2010, toured Battersea’s facilities in 2012 and opened BDCH’s new Veterinary Hospital and Centre of Excellence in 2016. To mark the start of her tenure with the title of royal patron, Her Royal Highness paid a visit to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home’s Old Windsor Adoption Centre in Berkshire.
Having answered the call in 2014 to be a royal patron of Medical Detection Dogs, the Duchess of Cornwall was happy to answer phone calls from those wishing to give donations to the cause during ICAP Charity Day, when she also met with members of the organization’s staff and was shown a demonstration of the attending Spots’ skills as service dogs:
In the minds of Rover-loving royal watchers Great Britain’s sovereign may be synonymous with Corgis, but Queen Elizabeth II also has a dogged devotion to Labrador Retrievers. Having shared her life with 20 Labs, the monarch was pleased to be presented with a posy by a black Lab named Yarma during her visit to Canine Partners in West Sussex. The Queen was keen to see demonstrations by the organization’s tail-wagging trainees, who showed how they aid people dealing with disabilities by opening doors, unloading washing machines, and providing help with dressing.
Since creating the Invictus Games in 2014 Prince Harry has had the opportunity to meet many inspiring veterans as well as a few of the dogs who have helped the wounded service personnel regain their independence. At the UK team trials for the Toronto 2017 games the fifth in line to the throne became friends with one of the competitor’s barking buddies– Jester, an assistance dog from Canine Partners. Established in 1990, Canine Partners– which provides service dogs for both civilians and former military personnel who are dealing with physical challenges or conditions which affect day to day life– has long had a royal patron in Prince Richard, the Duke of Gloucester, a cousin of Queen Elizabeth II.
Royal patron of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People since 1992, Princess Anne attended the registered charity’s board meeting in Buckinghamshire to mark the organization’s merger with the hearing loss charity Hearing Link (for which she has also taken on the role of patron). By combining forces the organizations will offer those with hearing loss wider access to advice and support.
Photo Credit: Hearing Dogs for Deaf People
On the 100th anniversary of The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals‘ founding the charity’s royal patron HRH Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy presented the Dickin Medal (known as the animal Victorian Cross) to a courageous eight-year-old Belgian Malinois named Mali during a ceremony held at The People’s Palace in London. Severely wounded by three grenade blasts during his tour of duty in Afghanistan, the British Military Working Dog braved direct fire on two missions to find explosives and warned soldiers of the presence of insurgents on several occasions.
Animal Aid USA rescued its 20,000th companion animal in 2017, thanks in part to the ongoing efforts of the non-profit’s co-founder, Prince Lorenzo Borghese, the star of The Bachelor season nine and President of The Royal Treatment brand of pet products:.
A proud pet parent to multiple rescued dogs, cats and rabbits (a few of whom can be seen in the Instagram clip below), Princess Maja von Hohenzollern of Germany’s ongoing quest to help homeless companion animals live happily ever after continued through sales of the royal’s posh pet products. A portion of the proceeds are always donated to deserving animal charities, such as the dog shelter in Siberia which constructed new dog houses thanks to the 7.500 Euro (approximately $8,392 US dollars) it received from Prince & Princess by Maja von Hohenzollern/Trixie.