Animals are rewarded for their unstinting bravery

This Is Wiltshire: Neil Smith with Jasper the cat, the overall winner of the brave pets awards at Vets Now Referrals Neil Smith with Jasper the cat, the overall winner of the brave pets awards at Vets Now Referrals

BRAVE pets were recognised for the hardships they have overcome at an annual awards ceremony on Tuesday.

The vets and nurses at Vets Now Referrals run the awards each year to recognise the feats of survival their patients demonstrate on a daily basis.

This was the first year the public could cast their own votes, with nominees in dog, cat and exotic pets categories.

“We see a lot of cases coming through and the staff are always impressed by how brave they are,” said Brian Wright, 60, hospital manager at the surgery.

“The centre is not just a place for vaccinations. There have been total hip replacements in the past – the animals go through a lot of stress and pain, but they always bear it pretty well.”

Staff at the centre made nominations before a shortlist was drawn up and put on to the surgery’s social media pages, where the public cast their votes.

The winner of the cat contest, and Brian’s pick for the overall winner, was Jasper, who was hit by a train which resulted in her right hind leg being severed and her remaining rear leg being badly damaged.

Jasper was undiscovered for 12 hours before eventually being found at the bottom of her owner’s garden, having scaled a 6ft fence with her injuries.

“Jasper was incredible,” said Brian. “She was jumping around during the awards ceremony, despite only having three legs.

“Our staff get a huge kick out of it. They see the way the pets behave and react to the surgery they have to go through and are amazed.

“The owners can take it for granted. They think the pets take it in their stride with no effort, but these awards remind them of what their pets go through and how well they take it.

“The winners are awarded a collar or tag with their name and award on, and the owners get a bottle of bubbly and a plaster imprint of the animal’s paw to go on our wall of fame.”

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