Picture: Ruth and her rescue dog in last year’s competition 

On Monday 30th April, SNP MSP for Cunninghame South, Ruth Maguire, and a Dogs Trust rescue dog will compete with other politicians and their pooches to win the coveted title of ‘Holyrood Dog of the Year’.

Dogs of all shapes and sizes will be helping their MSP owners to strut their stuff as they head to the Scottish Parliament gardens at Horse Wynd, Edinburgh, to see who will be crowned top ‘pawlitical’ dog at this exciting event.

Organised jointly by the Kennel Club and Dogs Trust, the competition offers the unique chance for Ruth Maguire MSP to show off her four-legged friend.

With the success of last year’s first ever Holyrood Dog of the Year,  2018 is set to be even better. Dogs Trust and the Kennel Club will once again promote responsible dog ownership and encourage open dialogue on dog welfare issues in Scotland, as well as providing an opportunity for MSPs to meet with dog welfare experts to discuss all aspects of the dog world.

This year’s competition will focus on the importance of dog training and socialisation, highlighting the need for dog owners to ensure their pets remain happy and well behaved. Dogs Trust and the Kennel Club will be sharing advice on the right training and socialisation in a bid to help our canine companions get used to new experiences and provide dog owners and their pets with all the skills needed to become the perfect team.

Commenting ahead of the competition, Ruth said:

“It was a pleasure to take part in last year’s first ever Holyrood Dog of the Year contest – and I am delighted to be entering a Dogs Trust rescue dog on behalf of Cunninghame South again this year.

“This is an excellent way of highlighting the work of Dogs Trust and some of the wonderful dogs that require a new home.

“I am hoping that we are not only victorious in the competition but that my rescue dog finds a loving home in the process.”

MSPs are calling for their supporters to vote for them, in a bid to win the ‘pawblic’ vote, with additional judging on the day which will review the contestants on their heroic doggy deeds and winning personalities. This will then determine which political pooch will take home the ultimate parliamentary privilege of the ‘Holyrood Dog of the Year’ title.

Last year the inaugural Holyrood Dog of the Year crown went to Border Collie Maya and her owner, SNP MSP for South Scotland, Emma Harper. Both owner and dog wowed the judging panel with their skill and adoration for each other.

The judging panel to determine which pooch wins the highly desired crown includes Paula Boyden, Dogs Trust Veterinary Director, Bill Lambert, Kennel Club representative, and Emma Harper MSP, the event sponsor. The competition is taking place on the morning of Monday 30th April in the Scottish Parliament gardens.

Details of MSPs and dogs entered for Holyrood Dog of the Year can be found at the link below, where you can also vote for Ruth Maguire and her canine companion!

www.thekennelclub.org.uk/holyrooddogoftheyear