Hounds for Heroes
1262. Allen Parton
Allen Parton, from Hampshire, founded ‘Hounds for Heroes’, which provides specially trained assistance dogs for disabled veterans and emergency services personnel in memory of his service dog, Endal, who helped him recover physically and emotionally after a traumatic injury in the Gulf War.
Allen suffered severe memory loss and was left unable to walk, speak or write, spending five years in hospital. Through Endal, he was able to rebuild confidence and his relationships with his wife and children, with Endal capable of responding to over a hundred commands to provide Allen with support, including reacting to an emergency in 2001 when Allen was knocked out of his wheelchair by a speeding car and left unconscious in a car park. Following this, Allen realised how transformational assistance dogs could be for disabled members of the Armed Forces and Emergency Services and set up ‘Hounds for Heroes’ to provide this service. The charity runs an intensive two year training course for puppies, and since 2011 has achieved 15 successful placements.
Allen received his award at the Houses of Parliament from his local MP, Sir George Hollingbery, accompanied by his two assistance dogs EJ (Endal Junior) and Rookie.
In a personal letter to Allen, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I know you do this with no thought of praise or reward, but allow me to offer my own recognition of how you are paying tribute to the memory of Endal by training assistance dogs for other veterans, helping them to rebuild their lives as you bravely did. Our Armed Forces do so much on our behalf and I thank you for all that you do to honour our selfless veterans.”
Sir George Hollingbery KCMG MP, Allen’s local MP for Meon Valley, said:
“I am very pleased Allen’s tremendous work with Hounds for Heroes has been recognised by this much deserved award.
“To sustain injuries in conflict but then, through real determination, set up a charity making such a big difference is a wonderful achievement.”
“I am so incredibly humbled and honoured to have been nominated for a Points of Light award. I am though constantly reminded to look over my shoulder at those who have supported me over the years and made my dreams and visions the reality they are today. The message that comes out of awards such as this is “that folk really do care” and from where I sit that is such a powerful message to receive, I salute you all!”
Pictured: Allen with his assistance dogs EJ (Endal Junior) and Rookie