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Mad Paws Dog of the Year Awards 2017


To celebrate National Dog Day (26 August)Mad Paws announced today the winner of its first ‘Dog of the Year Awards' along with the runner-ups in each state. 

“Dogs are our nation’s favourite pet" comments Alexis Soulopoulos, CEO and co founder, Mad PawsAustralia’s largest pet sitting network. This is why we wanted to celebrate some of Australia’s most courageous dogs through these awards for National Dog Day. Each dog chosen has an incredible story to tell of how they overcame adversity or helped others - those were entered by their owners or pet sitters".

1,514 pooches were entered into the competition, that urged pet parents to share their dog’s amazing story of why they deserved to win. The awards included a winning dog in each state that received an accolade and medal, along with the overall winner Jack, the Golden Retriever from Canberra, being named Mad Paws’ Dog of the Year 2017, for being a hero and saving lives. 

Mad Paws’ National Dog of the Year 2017 - Jack 

Location: Canberra, ACT
Owner: Laura Gilbert
Breed: Golden Retriever/ Labrador


Jack has been crowned Mad Paws’ Australia’s Dog of the Year 2017, for saving his owners from a life-threatening fire. Late at night Jack’s human parents were sick in bed asleep, when the fire broke out. 

When letting Jack outside earlier, his human dad had turned on the backdoor lamp which had set alight due to a water leak. The fire was spreading fast, right to the bedroom door where the couple were sleeping. Jack realised the danger and started making strange noises, in a desperate attempt to alert his owners. His parents woke to Jack’s noise and realised the house was on fire, just 2 metres away from their bedroom. If not for Jack the couple may not have survived. Jack is no doubt a fur hero! 

“We are absolutely thrilled that Jack has been named Australia’s Dog of the Year 2017 through Mad Paws’ awards. Without Jack my partner and I may not be here today following the fire. Jack is thrilled to receive his medal and the accolade, we’d be lost without him,” comments Laura Gilbert, Jack’s owner from Canberra.

“Jack was named the overall winner to become Australia’s Dog of the Year 2017, for his heroic rescue in alerting his owners to danger. Dogs are not just great companions, they can also protect their owners and sitters. We think Jack is a hero,” comments Alexis Soulopoulos, CEO and co founder, Mad Paws.


Meet Australia's State Winners...

NSW Dog of the Year 2017: Zeppelin - The Globetrotter

Location: Newcastle, NSW
Owner: Luke Pirreca
Breed: Shih Tzu

Zeppelin wins Mad Paws’ NSW Dog of the Year 2017, for his remarkable journey to set paw into into Australia. Zeppelin’s two-legged parents found him neglected on the side of the road when teaching in Laos. 

He was hurt, hungry and very timid but with plenty of love and care slowly recovered. But it was when his owners decided to return to Australia that the real journey begun. His wanderlust, and commitment to be reunited with his parents, took him through Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and a long road trip from Melbourne to Newcastle. 

Not only did Zeppelin have to deal with a tremendous trauma from a young age, he also needed to adapt to a new culture in Australia, with new customs and language. For his incredible recovery through adversity, he has earned the title Mad Paws’ NSW’s Dog of the Year award.

WA Dog of the Year 2017: Piper - The Rescuer 

Location: Perth, WA
Owner: Tegan Doig
Breed: Border Collie

Piper, the 3-year old Border Collie, has dedicated her entire life to rescuing humans and no doubt deserves to win ‘Dog of the Year 2017’ for Western Australia. 

After her two years of training, Piper qualified as an air scenting area search and rescue dog with WA SES Canine Unit. She and her handler spend days, tirelessly aiding in the search effort to locate missing people. So far Piper has assisted in 17 searches to reunite loved ones and shows no signs of stopping. She is a true four-legged Aussie hero!

VIC Dog of the Year 2017: Bodhi - Helping to mood boost

Location: Romsey, Victoria
Owner: Tayla Jordan
Breed: Groodle

Bodhi, the 3-year old Groodle, has been crowned ‘Victoria’s Dog of the Year 2017’ for helping her human mum through a devastating time. 

When Bodhi’s owner lost her partner, Bodhi was the one who stayed by her side and helped her through the darkest moments. Bodhi understood her grief and comforted her when no one else could. 

Now she and owner Tayla Jordan are together fighting mental health by spreading awareness on how animals and assistance dogs can help the journey to recovery, through their company Jordan Country Groodles. Bodhi deserves to win the medal for her commitment to help humans who struggle with mental health.

South Australia’s Dog of the Year 2017: Duncan - School Supporter

Location: Adelaide, SA
Owner: Rachel Black
Breed: Brittany

Duncan has been crowned Dog of the Year 2017 for South Australia, for his caring and kind-hearted soul! 

Like any 8-month ‘teen dog’, Duncan can be quite mischievous and is either asleep or 100 miles an hour. But behind the messy facade is a heart of gold. Duncan is a loyal and kind dog and even comes to school with his human mum. 

At school he is a superstar and when a child has a meltdown, Duncan is there to the rescue! Apart from annoying his pooch siblings, he is taking his passion for non-furry children and making it into his next big adventure - to become a school support dog. Duncan is awarded the ‘SA Dog of the Year’ title for promoting the future of classrooms and to spread wellbeing amongst children through puppy love! 

QLD Dog of the Year 2017: Indi - The Survivor 
Location: Ipswich, QLD
Owner: Ellen Macaulay
Breed: Cattle Dog

Indi wins the title of Dog of the Year 2017 for Queensland, for being a true survivor. In 2014, Indi suddenly disappeared when being on a puppy play-date and sleepover. 

After months of searching, her owners lost faith, but by a miracle Indi was found 6 months later roaming the side of the street alone, 40km from her home. Indi was lost, hungry and her confidence was broken but after some well deserved care she is now the happiest dog alive! 

Whether Indi was stolen, got lost or escaped we will never find out, but she no doubt deserves to be awarded for fighting her way back home!
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