Burton’s Member of Parliament, Andrew Griffiths, is calling on the town’s residents to support the Staffordshire Regimental Mascot, Sgt Watchman V, in the Westminster Dog of the Year competition.
This year’s Westminster Dog of the Year competition is taking place on 8th September in Parliament and will see the canine comrades of MPs and Peers battle it out to be named Westminster Dog of the Year – arguably the most sought after title in politics.
The competition is organised by the Kennel Club and the Dogs Trust and the winner is in part chosen by a public online vote. The competition celebrates the unique bond between man and dog – and aims to promote responsible dog ownership. It is open to all dogs, regardless of breed, creed or “pawlitical” persuasion.
Sgt Watchman V has been nominated jointly by Staffordshire MPs Andrew Griffiths, Amanda Milling, Jeremy Lefroy, Christopher Pincher, Gavin Williamson, Bill Cash and Michael Fabricant. The MPs are keen to see our local regimental mascot crowned Parliament’s top dog.
Andrew said: “Watchman is a true Staffordshire icon, and very important to Burton. He is the first military mascot to make it to the short list of the Westminster dog of the year competition. I am calling on everyone in Burton to vote for him in the competition and help him get the recognition he so rightly deserves.
“The Watchman mascot is a unique tradition that goes back for generations and is owned by all the people of Staffordshire. When a Watchman is lost, not only does another take his place, but the previous mascot is buried with full military honours, something unheard of elsewhere in the country. If Watchman were to be chosen as Westminster Dog of the Year it would be an honour shared by everyone involved with the Staffordshire Regiment.”
WO2 Greg Hedges, Handler of Watchman said: “It is a great honour to have Watchman recognised in such a prestigious competition. Watchman is a familiar sight at local parades and military events and we hope everyone can get behind him and support his nomination. It would mean so much for the Staffordshire Regimental family.”
Adrian Burder, Chief Executive of Dogs Trust, said: “The Westminster Dog of the Year competition is so much more than a canine beauty pageant. The competition is strictly apolitical; judges will be looking for the dog’s good deeds and devotion to their owner – rather than policies, opinions or ‘bottle’.”
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “The serious side of this competition is about MPs getting together with the Kennel Club and Dogs Trust to promote responsible dog ownership and develop a partnership on dog welfare issues. The competition itself is light-hearted and an entertaining day out – not least because of the unusual criteria on which the dogs are judged!”