On Monday 8th May, Ruth Maguire, SNP MSP for Cunninghame South, teamed up with Shiloh, a loveable Lhasa Apso currently in the care of the Dogs Trust, to take part in Holyrood’s first Dog of the Year competition in the Scottish Parliament Gardens.

At the inaugural competition, organised by the Kennel Club and Dogs Trust, MSPs turned out to wow the judges either with their own dog or with a Dogs Trust dog – with the hope of helping the Dogs Trust dog to find its forever home through the publicity of the competition.

A panel of judges observed the MSPs and their dogs tackle a fun dog agility course – including a tunnel and jump – before casting their votes and deciding on the winners.

The SNP’s Emma Harper and her Collie, Maya took first place, with the Conservative’s Bill Bowman, and a Dogs Trust boxer dog called Astra coming second, and the SNP’s Richard Lochhead and his terrier, Cinder, coming in third.

Commenting after the event, Ruth said:

“Even though Shiloh didn’t win, this was a brilliant event which I hope to see repeated next year and beyond.

As well as being a fun and light-hearted event, it’s also a great opportunity to discuss the importance of responsible dog ownership and animal welfare – and to help the Dogs Trust dogs find their forever homes.

I have got to know Shiloh over the past few days and can confirm that he is very good boy, and will make a wonderful addition to a lucky family – I had to try very hard not to take him home with me after the competition!

I hugely appreciate the hard work of the Dogs Trust and the Kennel Club both in organising this event, and in the care they provide to dogs all through the year, and I would encourage all of my constituents to adopt, and not to shop.”