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The Hounds for Heroes Story

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

‘Hounds for Heroes’ founder, Allen Parton, came to Highcroft last week to share his inspirational story of how a young Labrador called Endal, changed his life forever. Over 80 people from the local community attended this exclusive event and raised over £300 towards Hounds for Heroes.

Allen and Endal’s story

In 1991, whilst serving in the Royal Navy, Allen was involved in a tragic accident. A severe head injury wiped out his memories and left him unable to walk, speak or write.He couldn't even remember getting married or the birth of his children. He spent the next five years in hospital, struggling to come to terms with his disabilities.

When he returned home, Allen was taken to a puppy training class for assistance dogs, where his wife volunteered. There Allen met Endal, a yellow Labrador puppy with a bit of an attitude. Endal picked up an item near to Allen’s wheelchair and gave it to him in the hope of receiving some recognition. After getting nothing back from Allen, Endal decided to bring Allen an entire room’s worth of toys instead. Having been unable to interact or show any sign of emotion since his accident, something incredible happened – Allen laughed for the first time. After that, Endal transformed Allen’s life and not only gave him the confidence to become independent again, but helped to save Allen’s marriage and rebuild a relationship with his children. 

Endal could respond to thousands of commands and problem solve. One day when Allen was struggling to withdraw money from a cashpoint machine, Endal took the money and card in his mouth and passed it to Allen. On another occasion, Allen was knocked out of his wheelchair by a speeding car and was left unconscious. Although injured himself, Endal pulled Allen into the recovery position, covered him with a blanket and retrieved his mobile phone. Getting no response, Endal then left Allen’s side and went to a nearby hotel to raise the alarm.

“… Endal is the subject of a bestselling book…”

Endal gave Allen the motivation to launch Hounds for Heroes, a charity to help war heroes through the use of assistance dogs like Endal. Despite Endal having passed away in 2009, he is the subject of a bestselling book which has sparked the development of afilm starring Colin Firth and Kate Winslet

Highcroft’s ‘Charity of the Year’

Highcroft owner, Richard Killen, said: “It was an honour to meet Allen and his incredible dogs, EJ and Rookie. We were thrilled by the number of people who attended the event and supported Allen’s cause; it was certainly an emotional evening for all! We treat a number of assistance animals as a veterinary practice and see first-hand how important they are to their owners. As proud supporters of various charities already, we have decided to make Hounds for Heroes our ‘Charity of the Year’.” 

If you’d like to support Hounds for Heroes, or for more information about the charity, visit their website


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