The search is on for hero pets to receive a medal for their bravery or helping people.
Blue Cross pet charity wants to hear about hero pets from across the nation as it opens nominations for the Blue Cross Medal 2018.
Animal lovers in Oxfordshire, where the charity has rehoming centres in Lewknor and Burford, are being encouraged to nominate inspirational pets who could be the next medal-winner.
In previous years the award has been aimed at working pets including guide and police dogs, therapy pets and pets who’ve saved lives in dramatic ways.
But this year Blue Cross is opening the medal up to more nominees and hoping to hear about the everyday pet hero who is changing lives in all kinds of ways. They are looking for guinea pigs who help give children confidence, cats who are there to listen, dogs who help you get in shape - any pet who helps you in any way big or small.
The charity understands that pets are more than just pets - they’re motivators, best friends, family, they save people from loneliness and can help owners through some of their toughest times – often, these pets are their personal heroes.
Last year’s winner was a five-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier cross called Romeo.
Romeo was nominated by his loving owner as he spends a great deal of time visiting stroke patients and residents in care homes, and regularly donates blood to the Royal Veterinary College saving numerous doggie lives. Romeo completely transforms the stereotype for this lovely breed with all the incredible ways he helps out people and other dogs.
Sally de la Bedoyere, Blue Cross chief executive, said: “With the Blue Cross Medal we want to honour the amazing things pets do for us and how they change our lives. If you know a pet that has made an incredible rescue and saved a life, or if someone’s cat, horse or rabbit is their hero just by being a friend, helping them through life’s challenges, then we want to hear from you. Please send in nominations about how your pets have made a difference to yours or someone else’s life; as after all not every hero wears a cape.”
Blue Cross has a tradition of recognising both animals and people for extraordinary acts since the charity opened its first animal hospital in 1906.
The charity played an important role providing front line veterinary care to horses during World War One and in 1917 awarded Major Methuen of the King’s Royal Rifles for the rescue of horses under shellfire on the battlefield in France.
The medal was expanded to in 1940 to recognise animal bravery; the first winner was La Cloche, a dog who saved his owner from drowning after a German torpedo hit their ship.
The Blue Cross Medal is open to pets that have done something brave, life-changing partnerships, assistance animals and serving or working animals.
Deadline for entries is February 4, 2018. To nominate a pet and find out more, visit www.bluecross.org.uk/medal