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Statue unveiled of 'the world's therapy dog'
"Max has become a symbol of hope and happiness to thousands of people." - Amy Dickin, awards and heritage manager ar PDSA.
Max the spaniel provided hope to people around the globe during lockdown. 

Max the English springer spaniel, named 'Miracle Dog' by his family and supporters, had a statue of himself unveiled in his hometown on Friday, 2 July.

The bronze statue in Max's likeness has been erected in Hope Park, Keswick, in Cumbria, and has been set on a bench, so that fans of the famous dog can cuddle up to him. 

Max shot to fame online because of his owner – Kerry Irving – who posted regular updates of the pup on social media. Photos and videos of Max made him a household name in the local area, but Max became even more special to his fans as the pandemic hit.

Throughout lockdown, Max's owner did daily live broadcasts of him, resulting in Max being dubbed the world's 'virtual therapy dog', and dedicated fans tuned in all the way from Australia to America. 

The daily Facebook Live videos of max became an important source of joy for hundreds of thousands of people during lockdown, and Max's antics are credited with helping people through isolation, grief, and anxiety. Max was presented with the PDSA Order of Merit (known also as the animals OBE) in February 2021 for his excellent contribution to society.

Local sculptor Kirsty Armstrong made the permanent tribute to the famous pooch, and Max's owner Kerry said of the sculpture: “Hope Park is the perfect location as Max has brought hope to so many people. It’s incredible that our little boy, proudly wearing his PDSA Order of Merit, will now be sat there and remembered for generations to come.”

Paid for by a crowdfunding campaign, the statue is a testament to how beloved Max is, with the campaign raising £26,000 in a single day! The campaign even raised enough for Kerry to donate additional funds to the PDSA charity. Kerry added: “Everyone has been so incredibly supportive, I can’t begin to express my thanks to all those who donated their hard-earned money, the Town Council and Hope Park Trust for arranging this wonderful location, our local sculptor Kirsty, and Honister Slate Mine, who helped us pick the perfect slate for the bench. 

“And the fact we were able to donate additional proceeds to PDSA too is wonderful, as it’s a charity that is very close to my heart. I’m humbled by it all, and hope that Max’s statue will bring great comfort to all those who visit.”

Max can be followed at the Facebook page 'Max out in the Lake District' and more about his PDSA Order of Merit can be found here

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Vets asked to opt-in to Scottish SPCA fostering programme

News Story 1
 The Scottish SPCA is encouraging veterinary practices to opt into its new fostering programme, by agreeing to register foster animals when approached by one of the foster carers.

The programme goes live in August 2021, and will help to rehabilitate animals under the Scottish SPCA's care until they are able to be properly re-homed. The programme will help the animals to receive care and attention in a stable and happy home environment, as some animals do not cope with a rescue and re-homing centre environment as well as others.

Specific information for veterinary practices on the new programme can be found at www.scottishspca.org/veterinarysurgeons 

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News Shorts
Webinar provides insight into old age pets

A new webinar providing insights into the BSAVA PetSavers Old Age Pets citizen science project is now available free of charge to its members via the BSAVA Library

The webinar presents an exclusive insight into the research process and progression of the study, which aims to help veterinary professionals and owners provide the best care for their senior dogs.

It also discusses the study's research methods, the researchers' personal interests in this area of study, and how they envisage the findings being used to create a guidance tool to improve discussions between vets and owners about their ageing dogs.