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PDSA Pet Survivor of the Year Award 2005

Time is fast running out for entries into the 12th annual PDSA Pet Survivor of the Year Award. The UK's leading veterinary charity is looking for pets that have displayed exceptional determination to survive in overcoming serious illness or injury.

The deadline for entries is 1 July 2005, and the charity for pets in need of vets is urging pet owners to submit their entries as soon as possible.

If your pet has survived horrific injuries or pulled through from a life-threatening condition against all odds then PDSA would like to hear your story.

Pets must have been successfully treated by a veterinary surgeon at a PDSA PetAid hospital, PDSA PetAid practice or private veterinary practice for a life- threatening condition during the period 1 January 2004 to 31 March 2005.

PDSA Pet Survivor Award Organiser, Hilary Nelson, comments: "Every year we receive hundreds of remarkable entries. This Award is the perfect way for pet owners and veterinary practices alike to demonstrate their outstanding pet survival stories. We seek to recognise both the courage of the pet and the skill of the veterinary team."

Last year's Pet Survivor winner was Del Boy the school donkey, who made a remarkable recovery from terrible injuries after being hit by a car.

Del Boy's heart-rending tale began following a bungled attempt to steal him and his donkey companion, Rodney, from their field at Smallwood C of E Primary School in Sandbach, Cheshire.

The heartless thieves removed parts of the perimeter fence around the field. In the pitch black of night, the distressed donkeys unfortunately galloped out of their then insecure field and headed straight towards a main road, where, an unsuspecting driver collided with Del Boy as he ran across the carriageway. Horrifically, Del Boy was pushed onto the bonnet of the car, smashing the windscreen before being catapulted over the top.

The driver of the car was unharmed despite the car being a write-off but Del Boy, although still standing on all fours, was seriously injured. He had a deep wound to his head, internal injuries with suspected liver damage, cuts and bruises and deep shock.

Stricken Del Boy showed immense character to pull through from his injuries and with support and encouragement, he was back grazing with Rodney just six weeks after his ordeal.

Del Boy scooped the North West regional heat of the Award before going on to win the overall title of PDSA Pet Survivor of the Year as a result of his miraculous survival story.

Anyone wishing to nominate their pet should fill in an entry form, available from PDSA PetAid hospitals, PDSA shops and all private veterinary practices that treat small animals throughout the UK, or forms can be requested through the PDSA website (www.pdsa.org.uk) or by calling 0800 917 2509. The final date for receipt of entries is Friday 1July 2005.