A vet charity, The People's Dispensary for Sick Animals, has honoured five dogs for their service to the British public over the last few years. One of the dogs spent 11 years of his life on more than 300 search and rescue missions. The charity awarded its Order of Merit at a ceremony held in east London's Honourable Artillery Company on Thursday.

One of the honourees, Oliver, is Europe's first justice facility dog. He is a six-year-old canine who has been able to provide comfort to the victims of crime over the years and often spends time with children, according to The Independent.

"He literally changes lives and I am really proud. The work that he has done has directly led to a pilot programme across four different countries in Europe and we're going to extend that out," said Oliver's handler and owner Dr. Liz Spruin.

Dr. Spruin was the one who had trained Oliver until he was two. She added that the dog was able to help a 12-year-old autistic girl who had been raped multiple times. Oliver was the one who got her to finally talk and made her feel comfortable.

While Zak, a volunteer for the Hampshire Search & Rescue, is a 14-year-old border collie. "11 years ago, he found his first missing person and saved a life," Kevin Saunders, a volunteer at Hampshire Search & Rescue, told PA.

"The gentleman had been missing for about three days, we were tasked to a certain area... and he found him in the evening of that day and got him back to his loved ones," said Saunders, adding that Zak deserves the honour.

The other dogs that were honoured at the event included a 10-year-old Cocker Spaniel named Clive, who works as a medical alert assistance dog. His owner, Michelle Sutherland, suffers from Addison's disease, a condition wherein the body cannot cope with stress.

Jerry, an 8-year-old Cocker Spaniel, works as an assistance dog for people with PTSD. Meanwhile, police dog Dexter is a three-year-old black Labrador who works with the Metropolitan Police Officers and staff, including Emergency Response Teams, and the National Health Service. He helps police officers who may be struggling with their mental health due to the nature of their job.

Border Collie
A white border collie. Photo/Celyno13, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons