“Heroic Mountain Canine Honored for Over 200 Life-saving Rescues in 11 Years of Service”

An esteemed mountain rescue dog named Skye, a border collie breed, has been recognized for her remarkable service and dedication. After an illustrious career spanning over 11 years in the Lake District, Skye successfully completed 200 search operations before retiring in 2020 at an impressive age of 14. Her outstanding contribution to the search and rescue community has earned her a special acknowledgement.

For her tireless work in searching for missing individuals alongside her handler John Leadbetter, Skye will be honored with the PDSA Order of Merit, which is often referred to as an ‘animal OBE.’ Skye began her career as a young pup with the Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue Team and went on to work with Duddon and Furness MRT where she trained as a search dog before joining Langdale and Ambleside MRT and later Kendal MRT. Mr. Leadbetter, who describes Skye as his lifelong partner and best friend on the fells, cherishes her deeply.

It is truly inspiring and heartwarming to witness the recognition of Skye with the PDSA Order of Merit. Her tireless efforts in safeguarding lives and promoting awareness have not only been instrumental in generating crucial funding but also in advocating for mountain safety. Skye has had a remarkable career that has spanned over several years, and her contribution to society is exemplary.
The PDSA Order of Merit is a prestigious award that acknowledges the extraordinary contributions animals have made to society. Being the 36th recipient of this honor, Skye has rightfully earned this recognition for her exceptional devotion and skills that are beyond mere companionship. The director-general of PDSA, Jan McLoughlin, expresses immense pride in honoring Skye and believes that it is a fitting tribute to her lifetime of dedication and hard work.

Throughout her impressive career, she has not only provided rescue and aid to those in peril, but also raised essential funds and awareness for the crucial work that Mountain Rescue teams perform. Skye’s journey began as a young pup with her training at the Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue Team, which led her to qualify with the Lake District Mountain Rescue Search Dog Association. From there, Skye embarked on countless searches spanning across the Lake District, Lancashire, the Pennines, and Scotland.

At present, she is almost 16 years old and is relishing her retired life with Mr. Leadbetter and his family. According to them, she still finds joy in wandering around the hills and fells, though at a more leisurely pace.

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