Page last updated at 13:59 GMT, Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Hounds for Heroes assistance dogs charity launched

Mr Parton has described his former companion Endal as a 'wonder-dog'

A new charity called Hounds for Heroes aims to give support dogs to injured and disabled personnel from the armed forces and civilian emergency services.

The charity is the brainchild of Allen Parton, a disabled Gulf War veteran, whose own experience with a support dog helped him rebuild his life.

His dog Endal, who died in 2009 aged 13, could respond to 200 instructions, including loading the washing machine.

Mr Parton said he wanted other veterans to experience the same rehabilitation.

Mr Parton, of Clanfield, Hampshire, now has a new support dog called EJ, or Endal Junior.

Our first puppy is already named Juno after the D-Day beach
Allen Parton

"EJ has continued to give me the same quality of life and independence that I experienced with Endal and every day our partnership grows stronger," he said.

The charity was formally registered with the Charity Commission three weeks ago and a website has been set up.

It aims to raise £100,000 for its Puppies on Parade appeal so it can purchase, train and support its first five Hounds for Heroes.

Mr Parton said: "Our first puppy is already named Juno after the D-Day beach and it is the charity's intention that all the dogs will have military and service related names."

Endal was able to perform many duties for his owner

Mr Parton's experiences with Endal have been the subject of documentaries after he and his wife, Sandra, wrote a best-selling memoir.

Their story is also in the process of being made into a film.

In the book, Mr Parton explains how Endal helped with his recovery after he spent years in hospital and fell into a coma.

When Mr Parton eventually woke up, he could not remember marrying or having children.

Endal helped him recover physically and emotionally, Mr Parton said.

The dog could even put a bank card into a cash machine and withdraw money.

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Portsmouth Today Veteran's hope for more dogs to aid heroes - 3 hrs ago
PETsmiles Hounds For Heroes Is Here At Last! - 26 hrs ago

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