AN AVID dog owner has been honoured with an award to recognise the work she does supporting canine companions.

Tracey Vickery, who runs Lymington-based Hampshire Hounds Dog Rescue, has been presented with the annual President’s award by New Forest Dog Owners Group.

A true dog lover, Tracey has volunteered for rescues and various organisations, adopted, fostered and donated.

She has witnessed puppy farming, helped investigations into dog fighting rings, reported Back Yard Breeders to HMRC - she’s seen it all.

Having more than 35 years’ of experience, Tracey’s work with Hampshire Hounds aims to reduce the number of dogs in UK pounds, making sure that no one feels ashamed that they can no longer give their dog the home and love he or she needs.

The register charity works alongside owners to reduce the number of dogs advertised over the internet as ‘Free to good home’.

The Scott Ordish award, was originally given to Pauline Ludlow, founder and president of New Forest Dog Owners Group in 2001, in recognition of her work in setting up the organisation.

Pauline donated the trophy to be awarded on an annual basis to someone who has demonstrated outstanding service to dogs.

On receiving this year’s award, Tracey said: “I was voted for by the members of New Forest Dog Owners Group which is very special indeed.

“Hampshire Hounds Dog Rescue is in its third year and we have successfully rehabilitated and rehomed 137 dogs.

“It has also helped many more by enabling them to stay in their homes through education and guidance.”

New Forest Dog Owners formed in May 2001 when nearly all the Foot and Mouth restrictions had been lifted, but dogs were still required to be on leads in the New Forest. A small group of dog owners got together, who cared passionately about retaining the traditional ‘privilege’ of walking their dogs on the Forest freely, while keeping them fully under control.

This spring, Hampshire Hounds, which formed in 2015, is launching a community neutering campaign with the slogan #ForPupSake.

The charity’s Dog Show and Family Fun Day will return this year, taking place on Saturday, June 16 at Strawberry Fields, near Lymington off A337.

Last year’s event raised more than £1,800 and proved to be a very popular event.