Kerry Ambassador Dog Marcel Wins Golden Paw Hero Dog Awards 2022 - Celebrating 100 Years of The Irish Kennel Club 

Saturday 19th November 2022 

Marcel, a Golden Retriever from Tralee has been announced as overall winner of The Golden Paw Hero Dog Awards 2022 at a glittering awards ceremony in The Clayton Hotel Dublin Airport today. The awards, organised by The Irish Kennel Club and sponsored by, celebrate the club’s centenary year and aim to find, recognise and reward Ireland’s most courageous, brave and life changing canines. After an appearance on the Late Late Show on Friday night, a total of 8 finalists/category winners from all over the country attended the award ceremony in Dublin today to receive their trophies and discover which deserving pooch would scoop the overall prize. 

Marcel’s handler, Anne is a Volunteer Puppy Raiser with Irish Guide Dogs for Blind (IGDB) and trained Marcel from 8 weeks until 14 months. 

During his training to become a Guide Dog, Marcel developed Body Sensitivity which meant he couldn’t tolerate a harness on his back. This meant that Marcel was assigned as Kerry’s First Ambassador dog. As an Ambassador Dog, Marcel visits nursing homes, schools, hospitals, and many fund-raising events.  Marcel continues to assist in many one-on-one Therapy Sessions. These include visits to specific patients in University Hospital Kerry, at the request of their doctor, to comfort parents and children. Marcel is also included in therapy sessions with vulnerable children and adults, where Marcel will encourage and calm the patient.    


“Marcel senses when people are upset and will indicate that somebody requires his time and support. This has happened on many occasions even though the person is not visibly upset to the human eye. One example, In the hospital waiting area Marcel indicated that he wanted to sit with a gentleman, so I approached him, Marcel sat by the man’s walker and laid his head on his knee. The man was so grateful as he had just received bad news and was overwhelmed with Marcel’s love and comfort.” said Anne.  

During lockdown Marcel spent a lot of time with elderly friends of Irish Guide Dogs of the Blind Tralee Branch. Marcel provided them with companionship and a warm heart to lift their spirits during this lonely and stressful time. He also visited the local hospital UHK, where he spent days just being himself, giving the staff hugs and companionship to alleviate some of the stress they were experiencing, all under strict Covid compliance. 

Judges for the awards included PJ Gallagher and Jim Mc Cabe from The Morning Glory Show on Nova and journalist and dog-lover Andrea Smith. All finalists were winners of their categories, which included Bravery, Life-Changing, Companion, Search & Rescue and Law Enforcement Dogs and all were presented with beautiful Golden Paw trophies commissioned by the IKC. 

The Irish Kennel Club will be holding these awards annually in the future so if you know a hero dog who deserves a pat on the back, follow The Irish Kennel Club’s Facebook page for updates and announcements for The Golden Paw Hero Dog Awards 2023!! 






*Press Note:  

Spokespeople available for interviews! 


Issued by Aileen Eglington & Rosie O’Toole, AE Consulting on behalf of The Irish Kennel Club. 

E:??????????? /  

T:??????????? 01 2948080 

M:????????? 087 2505007