So, who is on the judging panel this year?
Lloyd Embley – Lloyd was made Group Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People in October 2012, having been promoted to Editor of the Daily Mirror in May of the same year. He joined the Daily Mirror in January and has been a journalist for 26 years.
Dr James Yeates – James is Chief Veterinary Officer of the RSPCA, RCVS Registered Specialist in Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law and Editor of the Journal of Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law and previously Chair of BVA Ethics and Welfare Group and Honorary Secretary of the SPCS.
PC Claire Todd and Stella – PC Claire Todd has been an operational Police Officer with the Gloucestershire Constabulary for 18 years. Claire is an accredited Tri-Force Police dog instructor and is a dedicated advocate for the use of positive training methods. She is passionate about showing how rescue dogs can be given a second chance in life as successful police dogs. Claire and her RSPCA rescue dog Stella won the Animal Hero Public Service Award last year.
Peter Egan – Peter is a respected British actor of both stage and screen. He is best known for his TV roles in Ever Decreasing Circles, Prince Regent, Downton Abbey and Unforgotten. Peter is the UK Ambassador for Animals Asia, Patron of All Dogs Matter and Patron of the Dr Hadwen Trust.
Alesha Dixon – Alesha is a number one, platinum selling music artist. Launching her career as one third of the UK girl band Misteeq, she has gone on to be a successful dancer, TV presenter, winner of Strictly Come Dancing and regular judge on Britain’s Got Talent. She is involved in many charities, defending animal causes with the RSPCA, PDSA and the Humane Society International.
Nicky Campbell – Nicky is one of the UK’s most popular and multi-award winning broadcasters presenting Radio 5 Live’s Breakfast Show and ITV’s Long Lost Family. He has presented various TV programmes including Top of The Pops and Newsnight. He has also fronted the BBC1 consumer show Watchdog for nine years. Nicky is Patron of the British Association of Adoption and Fostering and supports animal conservation issues working with born Free, campaigning against the illegal ivory trade and supports the charity Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.
Tom Fletcher – Tom is one fourth of undoubtedly one of the most significant pop groups of the past 12 years, McFly. Their 5 studio albums have racked up cumulative sales of over 10 million, seven UK No.1 singles and five top 10 albums and numerous sell out tours. Tom is also a bestselling author and will be releasing his new children’s book ‘The Christmasaurus’ in October. A keen philanthropist, Tom supports the WWF-UK and participated in the #paws4christmas campaign for the RSPCA last year.
Jeanette Allen – Jeanette joined the Horse Trust in 2010, from The MedicAlert Foundation where she had been the CEP for 9 years. Prior to this Jeanette worked for Bart’s Hospital and spent 4 years at the NSPCC. Jeanette is also a special equine advisor for The Household Cavalry Foundation, a Fellow of the Institute of Directors and a Liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Farriers. With 110 horses, ponies and donkeys living with her at the Horse Trust Jeanette also has 2 rescue cats and 2 rescue dogs.
With such a fantastic panel the lively debate began immediately with discussions and opinions bounced back and forth until the final decision was voted upon.
This year’s categories are:
- RSPCA Superstar of the Year
- Rescue Animal of the Year
- Outstanding Business of the Year
- Young Animal Enthusiast of the Year
- Vet of the Year
- Caring Animal of the Year
- Special Recognition Award
- Public Service Animal of the Year
- Animal Enthusiast of the Year
The judges looked at entries that highlighted a whole range of animal plights from puppy farming to dog fighting, cruelty to neglect, the dog meat industry to animals in captivity through to amazing rescues, service animals and incredible heroism. Dogs, hedgehogs, hens, elephants, horses, donkeys, foxes , kittens and a whole host of other furries were in the mix and each entry was given careful thought and contemplation.
A decision was made in every category and the lucky finalists will be contacted shortly to arrange their visit to our London ceremony later this year.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate, these awards are so important. They give animals a voice, they raise awareness and they honour incredible animals and the people that go above and beyond to love them.