Freddie, a Border Collie, owned by Hannah Fawcett, from Thrapston, Northamptonshire, made a special appearance at Crufts last week to help us launch a new fundraising initiative – a charity lottery – after our vets saved Freddie’s life.

Hannah and Freddie (middle) are photographed with Kevin Clements, Director of Fundraising and Marketing at the AHT, and Rose Smart (right), CEO of the Kennel Club, who helped us mark the launch of this lottery at the world’s biggest dog show.

To support our charity lottery – which costs just £1 per week and has a weekly prize of £25,000 – click here.

Freddie enjoying life on the beach just a few months after treatment

Seven-year-old Freddie was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2014 and given just weeks to live. Hannah was determined to give Freddie the best possible chance and Freddie was referred to the Animal Health Trust’s veterinary referral clinic near Newmarket for chemotherapy.

After four months of treatment, administered weekly, Freddie tested clear of the cancer in May 2015 and remains in remission today, almost three years later. Such fantastic results are unusual, and the Animal Health Trust is starting to research why some collies appear to do so well on this treatment compared to other breeds with the same cancer.

The charity lottery is a brand new fundraising initiative for 2018, spear-headed by the AHT’s new Director of Fundraising and Marketing, Kevin Clements, (pictured left).

Kevin said: “It’s fantastic to be able to launch our new charity lottery at the biggest dog show in the world and to have Freddie and Hannah here to help us. The Animal Health Trust is a unique organisation: Freddie was referred for life-saving treatment in our veterinary clinic but by treating him, our vets have learnt something about the way he responded to treatment which could potentially help other dogs fight cancer.

“Our vets and scientists will now work together to look at ways to research this. But, as a charity, all of this research needs funding, and that’s why we’ve started a lottery to help us bring in new, sustainable income, to help us to continue to find the answers to this and many more questions which could help improve animals’ lives. We’re guaranteed to receive at least 50p of every pound played in the lottery and there is a £25,000 prize up for grabs every week. For more information, click here.”

Freddie was struck with the gastrointestinal lymphoma when he was two-thirds of the way to winning his Show Champion title. Freddie returned to showing last year and landed a fairy tale victory in August 2017 at the Leeds championship show, held at Harewood House in West Yorkshire, where he won Best in Show, beating over 7,000 other dogs. Freddie is now a show champion and competed at Crufts on Thursday 8 March in the Veteran class.

About Freddie’s treatment, Hannah said: “Freddie is a very brave, loyal and trusting dog, which I believe has helped him get this far. He is my best friend, soulmate and shadow. I had not long lost my father to cancer when Freddie got diagnosed. Freddie was there for me through the hardest times of my life, and I was sure that I would do the same for him. Even though he is in remission, the worrying will never stop. I am forever thankful to the AHT for everything they have done. Freddie would not be here without them.

“The treatment was very tough, as our whole lives changed. Freddie would be quite poorly to start with, as he became neutropenic quite a few times (low white blood cell count due to chemotherapy), we had to change his diet, keep him away from other dogs – and I became completely obsessed with germ control. However the treatment and support we got from the AHT was first-class and we got through the chemotherapy together. Three years on, you wouldn’t think Freddie had ever been sick!

“It’s a privilege to be here at Crufts with Freddie and to be asked to help launch the AHT’s charity lottery. The AHT is an amazing place, full of passionate people who are working really hard to make animals’ lives better, and not just for the patients who walk through their doors but for lots of animals who will never need the AHT’s services directly, but their work helps to discover new cures and treatments. I’ll be signing up to the AHT charity lottery and hope you will too.”