Sir David Amess’s dog crowned Westminster Dog of the Year

Sir David Amess' French Bulldog Vivienne is announced as the winner of the Westminster Dog of the Year competition. Photo credit: David Parry

Sir David Amess’s French bulldog dog Vivienne has been named Westminster Dog of the Year.

The three-year-old French bulldog was entered into the annual competition, which promotes responsible dog ownership, before the MP was stabbed to death in his constituency earlier this month.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson took to Twitter to congratulate the pooch and said Sir David “would have been very proud.”

MPs had been urged to vote for Vivienne in the competition, with Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell telling the Commons earlier this week that there could be no better tribute to Sir David.

He told MPs:

“As our dear friend David Amess said in June about the Kept Animals Bill: ‘I hope the House will come together, support the Bill, and get it quickly onto the statute book’.

“I could think of no better tribute to him and to the animals across the United Kingdom which he so adored.”

As part of the entry, Sir David had said:

“Vivienne lifts my spirits as she is always pleased to see me and she makes me smile.

“Every time I walk into the room Vivienne throws herself at me, lies on their back with her legs in the air to be tickled.

“But before that she always brings a toy so she is of a generous, giving nature.”

The Southend West MP was a great animal lover and a patron of the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation. In 2011 he won the Dods Animal Welfare and Environment Award for his work on the issue.

Sir David was also responsible for introducing the Protection Against Cruel Tethering Act in 1988. He also campaigned to stop the testing of domestic products on animals, tackled the illegal wildlife trade and fought for an end to puppy farming. He also opposed the culling of badgers and was in favour of a foxhunting ban.

Mark Beazley, chief executive of The Kennel Club, which organised the competition alongside the Dogs Trust, said:

“Whilst the competition itself is no doubt a light-hearted and fun event, it is also an excellent opportunity to showcase the happiness that dogs can bring to our lives and to raise awareness of the actions that need to be taken, both in Parliament and beyond, to promote responsible dog ownership.”

French Bulldog Vivienne’s entry on the Westminster Dog of the Year website:

Owner’s name: Sir David Amess 

Constituency: Southend West 

Dog’s name: Vivienne 

Breed: French Bulldog  

Sex: Female  

Age: 3 

Colour: Fawn 

What are your favourite characteristics of your dog? 

Every time I walk into the room Vivienne throws herself at me, lies on their back with her legs in the air to be tickled. But before that she always brings a toy so she is of a generous, giving nature.  

How does your dog enhance your day to day life? 

If I am feeling down, the dog lifts my spirits as she is always pleased to see me and she makes me smile.  

What dog welfare issues do you think need tackling? 

Pet theft is a huge problem and more needs to be done to make sure vets check microchips and encourage owners to have their dogs chipped.  

What do you think makes a responsible dog owner? 

Someone who puts their pet’s welfare first but is also aware of their duty to others in cleaning up after their dog and making sure that it is well trained and sociable.  

Why should your dog be crowned Westminster Dog of the Year 2021? 

Because she is an enthusiastic supporter of Southend becoming a city! Also, she is political royalty and wears a crown really well.


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