When news happens, text BAZ and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Haatchi presented Animal of the Year award
A YOUNG boy, and the three-legged dog that helped to transform his life, received superstar treatment when the pet was presented with a special award at the House of Lords.
Owen Howkins, seven, and Anatolian shepherd dog Haatchi hit the headlines worldwide after the story of their incredible friendship was featured in The Gazette last week.
Haatchi was presented with the award for ‘Animal of the Year’ by the International Fund for Animal Welfare at the House of Lords on Tuesday after the charity heard of his incredible story through an anonymous nomination.
Owen suffers from the genetic condition Schwartz-Jampel syndrome, which causes his muscles to be constantly tense and requires him to have regular hospital visits.
Haatchi has also overcome some incredible obstacles, having suffered horrific injuries as a puppy after being tied to a railway line in London and hit by a train.
His rear leg and tail had to be amputated and he received a new lease of life when he was taken in by Owen’s father Will Howkins and his fiancée, Colleen Drummond, who live in Charles Street, South Ham, Basingstoke.
Haatchi and Owen had an instant connection and Will says the pair are “inseparable”, the dog having boosted his son’s confidence hugely.
Haatchi is now training to be a Pets as Therapy dog to help other people and will visit soldier amputees as well as sick and terminally-ill children.
Colleen, 41, accompanied Owen to the Animal Action awards, which were hosted by Baroness Gale with Queen guitarist Brian May.
Colleen said Owen had been “on top of the world” during his and Haatchi’s special day.
She said: “They really got the superstar treatment. Owen sat at the head of the table and everyone wanted to come and talk to him about Haatchi.
“Baroness Gale, Bill Oddie, the Lord Speaker, Brian May – all wanted to talk to him.
“Haatchi took it all in his three-legged stride but it was a very special day, one that we will remember for a very long time.”