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Aberdeenshire search and rescue dog Diesel wins Hero Pet award following retirement

Diesel the dog, pictured with handler Gary Carroll, has picked up a 2020 Hero Pet award.
Diesel the dog, pictured with handler Gary Carroll, has picked up a 2020 Hero Pet award.

An award-winning search and rescue dog from Torphins is celebrating a winning start to his retirement after being awarded yet more silverware to hang around his collar.

Springer spaniel Diesel has been named Hero Pet champion in this year’s Amplifon Awards for Brave Britons, collecting his accolade at a virtual ceremony hosted by BBC 1 TV Breakfast presenter Rachel Burden.

His handler, Gary Carroll, 50, a crew commander with the Scottish Fire and Rescue service, said: “It was a big surprise especially when I listened to the other finalists’ stories.

“Diesel retired in August and is now spending his time lounging around the house and sleeping! I have always looked after him and he has always looked after me.

“He has now handed his search and rescue mantle to my new springer spaniel I have trained, called Mac. I’m sure Diesel will pass on some of his experience to him!”

The 11-year-old rescue dog helped find casualties in more than 300 dangerous situations during his eight years working with the UK International Search and Rescue team and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

Judges said: “Throughout his life, Diesel has demonstrated a willingness to learn disciplines, procedures, and skills which most humans would have struggled to embrace while at the same time maintaining a capacity to remain a family pet.

“Diesel’s story is emotional, as well as incredible, and shows the strength of character and courage he displayed so many times.”

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