A search and rescue dog famous for his ‘phenomenal scent detection’ has been posthumously awarded a pet OBE.Border collie Charlie completed hundreds of searches over his 12 year career, helping police find missing women and murder victims. In 2007, he located Pauline Muggleton, an elderly and vulnerable lady who had been missing on Ferndown common in Dorset in freezing conditions for 14 hours.
Police and ambulance services reported that had Charlie not found her when he did, she wouldn’t have survived.
The hero dog, who died in 2017, began training at just 14 weeks old in in 2005.
Renowned for his scent detection he could cover large areas of boggy woodland, dense undergrowth, burnt out buildings and landslide zones quickly.
His other achievements include locating the body of a murder victim buried in a large field in 2008 and finding a missing 90 year old dementia sufferer who had become disorientated and bogged down in mud.Charlie’s medal was presented to his canine colleague Zak at an awards ceremony at Highcliffe Castle, Dorset.
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He is the 32nd recipient of the PDSA Order of Merit, founded by the UK veterinary charity to recognise ‘outstanding devotion to duty and service to society’.PDSA Director General, Jan McLoughlin, said: ‘We are pleased to announce Charlie as the latest recipient of the PDSA Order of Merit. ‘Although we’re saddened that he was unable to receive his honour during his lifetime, we hope that Matt and his colleagues at Dorset Search Dogs see it as a fitting tribute to his incredible career.
‘Charlie was a truly exceptional animal and an incredibly worthy recipient of this medal.’