A-List Celebrities And Their Pets Applaud The UK’s Top Animal Rescue Centres

A whole host of celebrities and their famous furries descended on Westminster to join and honour their less fortunate furry friends at the star-studded Wetnose Burgess Rescue Awards 2011.

Celebrities including Queen’s Brian May, actor Martin Clunes and TV presenter Anthea Turner, played second fiddle to those at the event who have gone over and above the call of duty to rescue less fortunate animals, and of course a host of saved animals and pets including dogs, donkeys and rabbits.

Founded by not-for-profit organisation Wetnose Animal Aid, the annual star-studded Wetnose Burgess Rescue Awards recognises the valuable and tireless work of small, independent rescue centres that help abandoned animals in the UK and overseas. The event also seeks to raise awareness of the fantastic job centres do in rescuing, caring for and re-homing thousands of unwanted and abandoned animals, whilst honouring the hardworking individuals who devote their time to helping thousands of animals in need.

Winners at the event included:

–       Best dog rescue centre – Lizzie’s  Barn Animal Sanctuary in Wales

–       Best cat rescue centre – Chestnut Cat Rescue in Essex

–       Best small animal (rodent) centre – Herts Hogline in Hertfordshire.

–       Best ‘fibrevore’ rescue centre (rabbit/guinea/chinchilla) – Fat Fluffs Rabbit Rescue in Solihull.

–       Best greyhound rescue centre – Celia Cross Greyhound Rescue in Surrey

–       Best horse rescue centre – Remus Horse Memorial Sanctuary in Surrey

–       Best rescue story – Penny (dog) – case study below

–       Best rescue pet – Blue the Border Collie – case study below

Lizzie's Barn Animal Sanctuary were awared Best Dog Rescue

There were also additional special recognition awards for the following organisations:

–       Joint winners of the Police dog of the year – Jasper and Cain from the Cumbrian Police Force

–       National Dog Team  – UK Border Control Dogs

–       Boon Lott Elephants in Thailand  – Elephant Rescue Centre

–       Ace Animal Care in Egypt Presented by Martin Clunes

–       Lifetime achievement award for Virginia McKenna,  Founder – Born Free Foundation in Africa, presented by Brian May (Queen)

Brian May presents Virginia McKenna with the Lifetime Achievement Award

Andrea Gamby-Boulger, director of Wetnose Animal Aid, says: “Sadly every year thousands of animals are left abandoned, putting their lives in danger.

“The Wetnose Burgess Rescue Awards are truly unique and give a platform to recognise and celebrate the wonderful work and achievements of independent rescue centres. Many of these organisations are often overshadowed by the larger, well-known centres that receive more donations and legacies from the general public – but their work is no less vital.

Our national awards are a great way to showcase the big difference the UK’s rescue centres make to the lives and wellbeing of animals.”

Celebrity supporter of the awards and an avid animal campaigner, Brian May, adds: “The awards are an important part of the growing movement to give animals the respect we need to learn to give them.  It is a moral necessity to change our attitudes to the other creatures on this planet, just as it was a moral necessity to abolish slavery and the very future of the human race depends on making this change in our behaviour. I am honoured to be a part of the Wetnose Burgess Awards ceremony.”

Headline sponsor Burgess Pet Care, one of the UK’s leading producers of high quality pet foods, is giving out awards for the best rescue centre story, best rescue pet and the coveted award for best overall UK small independent rescue centre.

Naomi Chatterley, marketing manager at Burgess Pet Care and sponsor of the awards, comments: “We are delighted to support and be involved in the Wetnose Burgess Rescue Awards and fully support their aims and ethos. We are a company of pet lovers and owners who are committed to helping and supporting rescue centres and their valuable work, through our ‘Forever Promise’. Consisting of a number of initiatives, this promise includes our rescue loyalty scheme, which aims to help rescues with food so that they can spend money on other essential areas in helping pets find their forever homes.”

For further information on the Wetnose Burgess Rescue Awards 2011 visit www.wetnoseanimalaid.com or for further details on Burgess Pet Care, its ranges and the work it does with rescue centres across the country visit www.burgesspetcare.co.uk



Penny’s story touches the heart of everybody that meets her; she fell pregnant and was tied underneath a caravan and deserted. Managing to free herself, Penny then tried to find somewhere safe to have her puppies however got caught and unfortunately lost her leg. Despite this horrific experience and treatment by humans, her owner Ellen describes Penny as extremely trusting, loving and affectionate. She says she has a therapeutic effect on her and her life and taking her into their family is the best thing she has ever done.

Penny with Martin Clunes and her trophy

Upon meeting Penny her happiness is clear, and it seems her unfortunate life experience is long behind her thanks to the help of rescue centres and loving owners like Jonathan and Ellen. Undeniably, Penny thoroughly deserved the award of best rescue story at The Wetnose Burgess Rescue Awards.


When Karen was asked to assist in rescuing a Border Collie that had been neglected by its owners, he had no idea that it would result in him gaining a new pet.

Blue had been kept in an overgrown shed for the past eight years and it had become so overgrown that it was practically inaccessible. After bathing Blue, she took him to a veterinary dental surgery. After a series of blood tests, Blue was surprisingly deemed as healthy despite his eight year stint locked in the garden shed. Although his teeth needed work, as he had staples stuck in his gums from trying to gnaw himself out of the shed. After having 14 teeth out and several splinters removed from his front legs, Blue’s recovery was swift despite his obvious pain.

Blue, with his award, Anthea Turner and Brian May

However, 13 months later Blue collapsed due to a suspected Splenetic tumour that the vets indicated could potentially be cancerous. At his age this was not a good prognosis, but Karen gave the go ahead for the operation and said goodbye in anticipation for the worst. Blue actually had a cyst and, after having a huge 60% of his liver removed, he quickly recovered to the amazement of everyone around him.

Blue was the winner of the best rescue pet award at The 2011 Wetnose Burgess Rescue Awards.

We would like to thank all those who entered, and for their tireless work at rescue centres throughout the UK.

Thanks to all who made the day a great success!


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