Dog-loving Ollie Lister, 7, was guest of honour at the BARKS Easter open day after choosing to donate to the Banbury charity his winnings from this year’s Crufts Friends for Life contest.
Ollie was on hand to judge the Easter Bonnet competition with his faithful friend Snoopy, the cockapoo, plus mum Becky and dad Richard.
Ollie and Snoopy were finalists in the Crufts Friends for Life competition which celebrates unique relationships between people and their dogs. He gave his £1000 prize to BARKS (Banbury Animal Rescue and Kindness Service).
Mum Becky said: “When Ollie was three, a few months after Snoopy arrived as a puppy, he was diagnosed with leukaemia. He was treated for over three years, completing his chemotherapy in 2018.
She added: “All through this time, Snoopy has been Ollie’s best friend. He has helped Ollie to put effort into learning to walk again so he can go out and play with Snoopy. Wherever Ollie is, Snoopy isn’t far behind. Their bond is amazing.”
Ollie said: “I wanted to give my prize money to BARKS because we got our cat Benson from BARKS 20 years ago and I really liked him.”
Chair of BARKS, Ann Collins said: “Ollie is a tremendously brave and caring little boy. This donation means such a lot to us as we build our dog fostering network alongside rescue and re-homing of other animals.
“Ollie and Snoopy remind us of the vital role of pets in our everyday welfare and how we should value them.” The BARKS Easter open day, devised by volunteer Becci Cooper, was part of their 2019 membership appeal campaign.
It raised £300 and attracted a dozen new members.
To become a BARKS member for £10 a year email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.barks.org.uk.
To read more about OIlie and Snoopy see: Banbury dog shortlisted for award.