YEARS on from a successful fundraiser to train a dog to assist injured and disabled armed forces and emergency services personnel, a new pooch has been purchased.

Eleven years ago, cadets from across the Isle of Wight took part in a sponsored Round the Island Cadet Relay, to raise funds for Hounds for Heroes.

The hope was to raise enough money to name and train a puppy.

It took two days for sea cadets from TS Osborne and TS Royal George, cadets from C Coy Army Cadet Force, air cadets from 1024 Squadron ATC, and the combined cadet forces of Cowes Enterprise College and Ryde School, to walk 56 miles of the coastal path, each unit taking on a section of the way.

They were successful in raising the £5,000 target, and a puppy – named Warrior – was chosen.

Unfortunately, Warrior was not a success.

The welfare and happiness of the dogs at Hounds for Heroes is paramount, and should it transpire that any dog is not, for whatever reason, suited to being an assistance dog, it is not forced to become one.

But recently, squadron leader Liz Mead, who organised the original event, was contacted by the Hounds for Heroes organisation, and advised that when dogs leave the training programme prior to placement, their name will be retained for use one more time.

Covid has impacted the organisation’s ability to train new dogs, and only this year have they been able to make any progress.

So, at last, Warrior the 2nd has been purchased, and is now undergoing his training.

“We all hope that this time, he will prove to be a hero for a hero,” said Liz.