Celebrity animal lovers attended the star studded annual Burgess Wetnose Animal Rescue Awards in Knightsbridge last week, to award, applaud and acknowledge animal rescue centres across the UK and abroad.
Hosted by Wendy Turner-Webster for the 3rd year, the awards were held at the Jumeriah Carlton Tower Hotel, Knightsbridge with Dame Judi Dench, Jenny Seagrove, Annette Crosbie, Rick Wakemen, Vicki Michelle, Rula Lenska and Sam Fox amongst the other 30 odd celebrities that attended.
Founded and driven by not-for-profit organisation Wetnose Animal Aid, the annual Burgess Wetnose Animal Rescue Awards, recognise the valuable and endless work of small, independent rescue centres do in caring for and rehoming abandoned and unwanted animals in the UK and overseas.
Boris, a police horse, was recognised for his outstanding dedication in serving the City of London during the London riots in August 2011 and received the Hero Award.
A spokesperson for the police force commented: “Boris is truly an outstanding Police Horse and a real hero, whether leading Her Majesty the Queen’s state processions, meeting and greeting children from deprived backgrounds, patrolling the streets providing reassurance to London’s population or dealing with outbreaks of serious public disorder like the devastating riots of 2011, Boris can be relied upon day in day out to act above and beyond his duty.”
The awards also honour the ‘Best Rescue Centre’ for categories such as small animals (rabbits, guinea pigs and chinchillas), cats, dogs, horses and wildlife. Headline sponsor Burgess Pet Care, one of the UK’s leading producers of pet food, also gave out awards for the Best Rescue Story and the Best Rescue Pet.
Andrea Gamby-Boulger, director of Wetnose Animal Aid, said: “In a time of recession, rescue centres are under even more pressure due to an influx of animals and a huge drop in donations. The work these small, independent rescue centres do is vital for many animals, but we must remember these animals are the lucky ones, many thousands are not.
“The Burgess Wetnose Animal Rescue Awards aim to highlight the work of these passionate individuals, who selflessly devote their time to helping animals in need. Recognition of this hard work can mean the difference between them carrying on or giving up.”
Winners at the event included:
– Best dog rescue centre – Hope Rescue Dog Centre from Caerphilly
– Best cat rescue centre – Caring for Cats from Yorkshire
– Best greyhound rescue centre – Celia Cross Greyhound Rescue in Surrey
– Best horse & donkey rescue centre – Equine Marketwatch Sanctuaries UK from Herefordshire
– Best rescue pet – Basil the french lop rabbit – case study below
– Best rescue story – Robbie the Staffordshire bull terrier– case study below.
– Hero Award- Boris the Police Horse
– Robbie- Best Rescue Pet Winner
Robbie, a Staffordshire bull terrier, was found by All Dogs Matter at a London dog pound in February last year. He had been found by a dog warden in North London as a stray and immediately taken to a vet, where he was diagnosed with severe burns and from the pattern left by the burns.
By the time All Dogs Matter discovered Robbie, he had seven days left to be claimed. If he was not claimed he could be ‘legally disposed of’, which for many stray dogs means being killed despite being perfectly healthy and ‘homeable’.
Robbie was not reclaimed, so All Dogs Matter removed him from the pound and placed him with a foster carer.
Robbie’s transformation upon leaving the pound was instantaneous, on the short car journey from the pound to Jackie, his new foster carer’s house, Robbie was acting like a different dog, wagging his tail and making eye contact.
Jackie is one of the foster carers All Dogs Matter rely on instead of leaving dogs in kennels where they suffer from stress and boredom. As soon as meeting Jackie, Robbie made himself at home instantly, starting to eat again and playing with toys. He became one of the best behaved dogs on his walks and was flying the flag for Staffordshire bull terriers that have received such bad press.
Robbie was rehomed by All Dogs Matter, but sadly he passed away as a result of his injuries only a few weeks ago. Mojo from All Dogs Matter took Robbie’s place and received his Burgess Wetnose Rescue award today.
Sadly there are many stray dogs like Robbie in dog pounds all over the UK, with recent statistics showing numbers have reached an all time eleven per cent high.
Numbers are at crisis point in most areas of the UK, and thousands of dogs aren’t as lucky as Robbie to have been rescued. Many are put down each year but All Dogs Matter work with two London councils and the local RSPCA to help find homes for the capital’s stray dogs. They also help members of the public who need to rehome their dogs and have recently seen a sharp increase in calls.
– Basil- Best Rescue Story Winner
Basil is a beautiful French Lop rabbit who, according to specialists at a local small animal rescue hospital, survived one of the worst cases of neglect they have ever seen.
Basil was taken to Paws Here Animal Shelter after being treated badly in his previous home. He had been kept outside in a tiny covered hutch that was too small for him to even move properly and caused several problems for Basil.
The hutch was just covered enough to keep him warm and survive, but Basil suffered from scalded and raw feet from standing on urine-soaked ground for too long. His lungs were also badly affected from the ammonia in the air, which eventually lead to chronic pneumonia.
When Basil was first rescued, his eyes could not cope with natural sunlight after so long in the dark. He needed extensive veterinary treatment costing over £1500, including three hours in surgery to remove part of his damaged jaw and teeth from years of a poor diet.
Basil will continue to need this kind of care for the rest of his life, and is considered a permanent resident of Paws Here Animal Shelter living with foster carers Marie and Andy.
Basil’s health problems could all have been avoided if he had been cared for correctly. Luckily, his story is now a happy one full of hope and love. He is now thriving in his new home and gradually recovering from the bad experiences of his past, touching people’s lives and with Facebook fans around the world.