The charity was founded in 2015 by Garry Botterill and Judith Broug who both had a passionate interest in assistance dogs and PTSD.
In 2018 Service Dogs UK won the Soldiering on Award for Animal Partnership and also became ADI/ADEu Candidates with the clear aim to become full members in the coming year. Currently, the charity has 7 Assistance Dog Partnerships.
We have a team of like-minded people from all walks of life, all with a serious passion for improving the lives of PTSD veterans from the Armed Forces and Emergency Services; whether injured on the front line abroad or at home and for rescue dogs.
We have been very lucky in attracting wonderful sponsors, fantastic dog trainers, fosters, volunteers, fundraisers and others who have joined us in making the difference.
We are entirely voluntarily run.
Garry served in the Royal Navy for 6 years before joining the police and is from a family with strong connections to the military. As a frontline Police Sergeant, he has policed G8 and G20 conferences in Scotland, Ireland and Wales and the London Riots. he has been involved in several major crime investigations including high profile murders and terrorism cases. He was the Team Leader for the Sussex body recovery team in the immediate aftermath of the Shoreham Airshow crash in 2015.
He has a keen interest in dogs and their welfare and has introduced microchip scanners to his force. He developed a pilot project for veterans with PTSD to work with dogs to help comrades and colleagues. As a result of his determination to learn more about the positive effect specially trained dogs have on PTSD sufferers he was awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship to research the subject in the USA and Holland in May 2015, to read his travel blog click here.
Garry is a Sussex Armed Forces Network ‘Champion’ for the police and is also a Mental Health Advocate within the organisation. He is passionate about providing help and support for veterans and colleagues in both the armed forces and emergency services and reducing the stigma surrounding mental health.
A keen runner and fitness enthusiast, Garry is Chairperson of the fitness club he runs at work. He lives in Hampshire and has two wonderful grown-up children of whom he is extremely proud! His dogs; Buddy and Max, were ‘rescues’ from Ireland. They often accompany him on his runs and although not assistance dogs they enthusiastically represent the charity as ‘Ambassadogs!’