WORKING dogs have helped bring an appeal to life by being snapped in the spot where three sculptures are set to stand to celebrate Melton’s association with the military animal.
A staggering £8,000 has already been raised for the bronze sculptures which are set to be installed in the centre of the heritage and community garden at Melton Council’s Parkside offices.
However, more than £46,000 is needed before American sculptor Lloyd Le Blanc, who owns a foundry near Melton and has been commissioned to create the sculptures, can begin work.
Once erected the celebratory art will show a German Shepherd on guard, a Labrador detecting and a Springer Spaniel leaping.
Three handlers and their dogs from the Defence Animal Centre (DAC) visited the site on Tuesday to help the public get a better understanding of what the proposed design will look like.
The appeal which was launched by Melton Council, the DAC, Melton Civic Society and Melton in Bloom, has already received a generous donation of £1,000 from the Royal Veterinary Corp Council as well as two public donations totalling £140, while the council has been able to donate over £6,000.
The hope is that business sponsorship will help pay for two of the dogs with the public helping to raise funds for the third.
Dinah Rudman of the Civic Society said: “The dogs go all over the world into every field of conflict with their handlers. They show a lot of courage and have the most implicit trust in their handlers, it is a tremendous partnership which should be celebrated.”
Major Steve Leavis, of the DAC, said: “It’s very humbling that the sculptures will honour the dogs. We have 200 dogs currently in training for both protection and detection jobs, once trained they will go onto support operations in the UK and abroad.”
l Donations can be made by cheque to Donna Bradbury, Melton Borough Council, Parkside, Station Approach, Burton Street, Melton Mowbray, LE13 1GH.