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!