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Updated 14/01/2001

Young Animal Carers rewarded

Robert Bland, aged 12, was highly commended at the 1999 awards before winning the Animal Ark/ RSPCA Young Animal Carer of the Year Award 2000.

IT REALLY is a case of ‘all creatures great and small’ for 12-year-old Robert Bland, the winner of the Animal Ark®/RSPCA Young Animal Carer of the Year Award 2000.

Robert, who was highly commended at the 1999 awards, was chosen for his dedication to animal welfare involving species from bats to elephants. Robert raises much needed funds for the RSPCA and Chester Zoo and runs a pet-sitting service in his spare time.

Robert, of Rufford, Lancashire, received his award from BBC TV presenter Ana Boulter during a presentation ceremony at Planet Hollywood in London on 2nd November. He won a Virgin holiday for two in Florida, plus a special trophy and certificate.

Now in its third year, the awards scheme, sponsored by the best-selling animal book series, Animal Ark, and the RSPCA, rewards schools and young people who have shown outstanding, ongoing commitment to caring for animals in the community.

The winning school, Gordon’s School in Chobham, Surrey, received a computer and £1,000 of Hodder children’s books. The school set up an Animal Awareness Club four years ago. Pupils spend two hours a week in school and countless hours of spare time raising money for animal charities and learning about animals.

Two runners-up in the individual category won a PGL activity holiday in Britain. The runner-up school received £500 of Hodder children’s books.

Judges this year were delighted by the extremely high standard of entries to the competition. Michaela Miller, editor of the RSPCA’s Animal Action magazine, said: ‘The award has given the RSPCA a brilliant opportunity to see and acknowledge the hard work of young people throughout the UK who are doing so much to make things better for animals. It has been truly inspiring’.

Hodder Children’s Books publish the Animal Ark series and also co-sponsor the awards. Managing Director Mary Tapissier said, ‘The entries go to show there are lots of real life Mandy Hope’s and James Hunter’s’ (the animal friendly stars of the Animal Ark books).

The judging panel was made up of TV presenter Ana Boulter; David Grant, RSPCA vet and star of BBCs Animal Hospital; Mary Tapissier, Managing Director of Hodder Children’s Books; Michaela Miller, editor of Animal Action magazine; Sue Stafford, RSPCA Inspectorate Staff Officer; and Ben Baglio, Managing Director of Working Partners Ltd.

- Full Report in January 12th 2001 Issue of Our Dogs
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