Honoring Melton’s Defence Dogs

Some have suggested that that the animal rights movement has made deeper inroads in the UK than in other places, and if that’s true, it’s nice to see this sculpture of a Labrador Retriever detecting and a Springer Spaniel leaping join a sculpture of a German Shepherd Dog on guard outside Melton Council’s Parkside offices in Leicestershire, England.

The sculptures, which were commissioned in 2014 by artist, Lloyd LeBlanc, recognizes the courage and partnership of military dogs and their handlers trained at Melton’s Defence Animal Centre since 1946. The last two military working dogs trained in Melton were awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal for gallantry and devotion to duty while serving. It is the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross and a huge honor.

Melton Mayor John Wyatt said at the time, “The medal is the highest award any animal can receive while serving in military conflict and the completion of this public art is a fitting tribute to those animals.”

The project was made possible through contributions of Melton Council, Leicestershire County Council and fundraising of the Defence Animal Centre personnel.

Purebred dogs all. No surprise to any of us who admire our different breeds.

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