South East Wales

Hero Bridgend guide dog Piper receives bravery award

Sarah Craig-Hancock
Sarah Craig-Hancock with her brave guide dog Piper

A guide dog who was brutally attacked by another dog but returned to lead his blind owner home has been honoured.

Piper, a black Labrador, was bitten while out walking with Sarah Craig-Hancock in Bridgend.

After being chased and injured by his attacker, he returned to his owner to fulfil his duties.

Veterinary charity PDSA presented him with a bravery award in recognition of his devotion on Tuesday.

The ceremony took place at the mayor's parlour at the Bridgend council offices.

PDSA trustee Roger Hills presented the PDSA certificate for animal bravery in front of Bridgend mayor Colin Teesdale.

Piper's bravery dates back to 27 June 2008, when he was targeted by another dog.

Mrs Craig-Hancock heard him yelp in pain but had no idea of the extent of his injuries.

It was only when Piper had helped her home that she realised the dog had an open wound behind his left foreleg that required several stitches.

The wound was exactly where his harness would have rested and would have caused him a great deal of pain, but he did not complain.

"I'm so very proud of Piper," said Mrs Craig-Hancock.

"He must have been in great pain when I replaced his harness.

"I wasn't able to see that he had been injured during the dog attack but he still managed to get me home safely, as if nothing was wrong. I'm so happy PDSA is recognising Piper's devotion."

Presenting the certificate for animal bravery, PDSA Trustee Roger Hills said: "Our charity's founder, Maria Dickin, introduced the idea of recognising bravery in animals and it is something PDSA is proud to continue today.

"Piper's devotion to duty, despite the pain of his injuries, is a quality we admire and are proud to reward."

The PDSA certificate for animal bravery was set up in 2001 and Piper is the twelfth recipient.

Previous winners have included explosives search dogs and police dogs.

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