Animal Friends Sponsors Animal Hero Awards

Fuzz's handler, PC Craig Calthorpe, receives his award from Elaine (left) and Ashley Roberts (right)

Last night the Daily Mirror held their Animal Hero Awards, hosted by animal-lover Amanda Holden. Animal Friends sponsored two awards, the Public Service Animal of the Year award, and the Lifetime Achievement award.

It was a very glamorous affair, and among the attendees were former Pussycat Doll member Ashley Roberts, model Amy Willerton and nature-lovers Brian May and Bill Oddie. Previous X Factor winner Alexandra Burke was the entertainment for the evening, singing some of her greatest hits. As well as all of the human celebrity guests there were a few animal invitees too.

Among the animals who won prizes on the night was Joey the capuchin monkey, who won Rescue Animal of the Year. He was brought to the UK as a pet and kept in cramped, squalid conditions in a Camden flat for nine years. This ordeal has left him permanently disabled, but since his rescue and relocation to the Monkey Sanctuary his health has come on leaps and bounds.

Elaine Fairfax, Managing Director and Founder of Animal Friends, presented the award for Public Service Animal of the Year. The three nominees were all very deserving, but there could only be one winner and that was Fuzz, the Metropolitan Police dog!

Fuzz proved his bravery in apprehending a violent suspect, despite the assailant hitting him in the face with a metal bar and punching him repeatedly in the snout. The suspect was arrested and is now facing charges, and Fuzz has fully recovered from his injuries. Congratulations, on your award, Fuzz, it’s well-deserved!

The other category we had sponsored was the prestigious Lifetime Achievement award. The winner was Lisa Milella, a renowned specialist veterinary dental surgeon who was tragically diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease and told she had just two to five years to live. Instead of despairing, Lisa closed her veterinary practice and committed herself to traveling the world and sharing her vast knowledge and skill with local vets so her work can live on.

Among the animals she has helped since her diagnosis were an orang-utan called Pingky in Borneo, 20 slow lorises in Java and a rescued tiger in India. Her condition is degenerative and she is now unable to perform operations herself because of the deterioration of her motor skills, but she can oversee, advise and supervise operations which would have otherwise been impossible. She also challenged herself to persuade 100 strangers to each donate £100 to International Animal Rescue. She smashed this initial target in only 3 days and has since doubled it. She is an inspiration to animal lovers everywhere and we are proud to have been able to support this award, which she thoroughly deserves.

We’d like to offer our congratulations to all of the nominees and winners. You’re all heroes in our eyes!

Animal Friends Sponsors Animal Hero Awards

Animal Hero Awards

Tonight Animal Friends are sponsoring two awards at the Daily Mirror’s Animal Hero Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Westminster. The awards ceremony is hosted by Amanda Holden, and we are proud to be sponsoring the awards for Public Service Animal of the Year, and the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Public Service Animal of the Year Award is for the service animal who is deemed to have been the most heroic in the line of duty. There are three nominees, all of whom have shown great aptitude, tenacity and most of all, courage in the face of danger.

Hertz is a German Shorthaired Pointer who helped protect Camp Bastion by using his excellent sense of smell to detect banned electronic devices carried by civilian workers at the camp. By sniffing out MP3 players, mobile phones and other gadgets, Hertz made sure that it was impossible for spies to record sensitive information and share it with dangerous people. While Hertz was working at Bastion there were no attacks on the camp and Hertz has been credited with making that possible. He’s currently working in the UK as a drugs detection dog, awaiting his orders for his next trip abroad before his retirement in about three years’ time.

Albert the horse, another specialist Police animal, is the longest-serving horse working for Thames Valley Police. He has been vital in leading crowd control squadrons at protest marches in London and Brighton, despite often being pelted with glass bottles, chairs and even metal railings. He has always stood fast in the perilous situations and, when protesters tried to unseat his rider at a rally, he used his own body weight to lean against them and keep his rider safe. He has also acted on security detail for the Queen on state visits to Windsor Palace.

Last but not least, Metropolitan Police Dog, Fuzz, was nominated for his bravery pursuing a suspect in an armed robbery of a moped. Fuzz, a highly-trained German Shepherd Dog apprehended the man, who then violently attacked Fuzz with a metal bar, leaving him with a nasty cut under his eye. Fuzz didn’t give up, keeping the violent suspect on the ground until the police could catch up and arrest him. Fuzz was treated for the cut and a bad nosebleed, but has since made a full recovery. The suspect was charged with a number of offences, including animal cruelty for attacking Fuzz.

Elaine Fairfax, our Managing Director and Founder, said: “I am delighted to be sponsoring the Public Service Animal of the Year Award and wish the best of luck to the nominees, who are all deserving of this honour. I look forward to attending the ceremony and presenting the winner with their award, but as far as I am concerned they are all winners.”

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