The Blue Cross Medal has celebrated inspirational pets for almost 80 years, and awarded its first in 1940 to a dog called La Cloche for saving his owner from drowning during the Second World War after a German torpedo hit their ship.
Bravery and companionship isn’t always as dramatic as La Cloche’s story, so last year Blue Cross opened the medal up to more nominees in the hopes to hear about the everyday pet hero who is changing lives in all kinds of ways; from cats who’re there to listen when there is no one else, dogs who help with social anxiety; guinea pigs who are a child’s best friend; any pet who helps people in any way, big or small.
Last year’s winner was an incredible pet. A young mastiff called Lemmy won the award after being nominated by his owner for saving the lives of her two sons. Rescue-dog Lemmy brought his young owner Max back from depression and suicidal thoughts and turned his life around. A true hero in every sense of the word.
Sally de la Bedoyere, Blue Cross Chief Executive, said:
“Pets are amazing, they help us in so many ways, from rescuing us from loneliness to teaching us new things, and even saving lives. The Blue Cross Medal is a wonderful way to draw attention to the incredible things our pets do for us every day and to celebrate them. We’re very excited to hear all the amazing stories to be sent through and can’t wait to pick the next medal winner.”
Animal-loving celebrities are helping support the Blue Cross Medal this year, including soap-star Hayley Tamaddon, who also partook in a photoshoot with homeless pets at one of the charities rehoming centres. Embarrassing Bodies’s Dr. Dawn and The Bill’s Lisa Maxwell are also showing support and broadening the search.
Emmerdale and Coronation Street’s Hayley Tamaddon said:
“Pets have always played a wonderful part in my life and I’ve been grateful to each and every one of them for it. The wonderful German Shepherd I had growing up called Sheeba would be my strong contender for the Blue Cross Medal nomination – she thought she was my bodyguard, she was always close by me and she made me feel so special and loved.
“Pets do so much for us and the Blue Cross Medal is all about celebrating that, so I would urge anyone with a special pet in their life to nominate them right away!”
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 15 February 2019.
To nominate a pet and find out more, visit www.bluecross.org.uk/medal.