The Kennel Club and The Dogs Trust have crowned Alyn and Deeside MS Jack Sargeant's brave dog Coco the first ever Senedd Dog of the Year.

Judges, focusing on the theme of promoting responsible dog ownership, were won over by the story of the three-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel's recovery from an attack by two aggressive, off-lead Bull Terrier dogs in September last year.

Coco made the five pooch shortlist, which also included Aberconwy MS Janet Finch-Saunders with Welsh Collie Alfie, Mid and West Wales MS Jane Dodds with her Greyhound Wanda, Brecon and Radnorshire MS James Evans and Cocker Spaniel Bonnie and Clwyd West MS Darren Millar with Whippet Blue.

Mr Sargeant said he had entered Coco to promote responsible dog ownership.

“It’s absolutely fantastic to be crowned Senedd Dog of the Year with Coco," he said. "She’s a real companion to me, I couldn’t be more proud of her.

"Responsible dog ownership is very close to my heart. Coco and I were attacked by two, off lead, dogs who had escaped from their garden and the owner was nowhere to be seen. Luckily six people who were nearby came to our aid

"Coco has experienced some trauma in the past year, but she’s recovered and continues to be loving to all she sees."

Judge Dr Ed Hayes, Head of Public Affairs at the Kennel Club, said: “Congratulations to Coco and Jack for being crowned the very first winners of Senedd Dog of the Year! The bond between the pair was clear to see.

“There was strong competition and we’d like to thank all those who took part. Senedd Dog of the Year is a fantastic way to raise awareness of the issues currently affecting the nation’s dogs.” 

Fellow judge Paula Boyden, Veterinary Director at Dogs Trust added: “Our work in Wales is an incredibly important part of the wider Dogs Trust picture. Therefore, it's only fitting we finally bring the Dog of the Year event to the Senedd.

“We're grateful for this opportunity to highlight responsible dog ownership, meet some lovely dogs and discuss the challenges dog owners are facing."

Mrs Finch-Saunders, congratulated  Jack and Coco on being crowned Welsh Parliament Dog of the Year.

“All dogs in the competition are winners," she said. "They have helped raise awareness of the excellent work undertaken by The Dogs Trust and The Kennel Club.

“I wish to congratulate Jack and Coco on their success. There is no doubt that they have a unique bond, and I'm happy to see them succeed."