The winners of Ceva’s 2014 Animal Welfare Awards were announced at a glitzy presentation evening in Birmingham last night.

The awards, which attracted hundreds of entries, recognised volunteers, charity workers and veterinary professionals who went the extra mile in improving animal welfare around the world. 
Winners were presented with their award by head judge Christopher Laurence and a representative from each of the category sponsors, which this year included Veterinary Times, VN Times, Blue Cross, People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), Your Cat and Your Dog magazines, International Cat Care and the National Animal Disease Information Service (NADIS). 
The winners were:
Christopher Laurence Vet of the Year Award (in association with Veterinary Times)
Marc Abraham – vet and founder of Pup Aid 
Marc has campaigned tirelessly about puppy farming and gathered more than the 100,000 names required to trigger a parliamentary debate about puppy farming in a record-breaking six months.
Volunteer of the Year Welfare Award (in association with Blue Cross)
Johanna Beumer – Whittingham Kennels, Waltham Abbey, Essex 
Johanna has dedicated the past 50 years of her life to finding loving homes for retired racing greyhounds and is one of the Retired Greyhound Trust’s longest-serving volunteers.
Farm Animal Welfare Award (in association with NADIS)
Molly McKay – Norfolk Farm Vets, Grimston, Norfolk 
Molly works relentlessly to ensure the health and wellbeing of her farm animal patients, working closely with farmers to resolve their livestock’s health issues and providing care to prevent illness. Outside of work, Molly teaches veterinary students about farming husbandry and has set up the Aspire to Farm Awards to encourage new blood into the profession.  
Charity Professional of the Year (in association with PDSA)
Luke Gamble – Worldwide Veterinary Service 
Luke works hard to raise awareness of animal welfare and launched Mission Rabies – a worldwide campaign to highlight this issue and help better control its devastating effects.
Charity Team of the Year (in association with Your Cat and Your Dog magazines)
Hope Rescue – a small charity dedicated to rescuing stray and abandoned dogs 
Last year, the charity successfully rehomed 143 dogs and placed a further 384 dogs with reputable rescues.  
VN Times Welfare Nurse of the Year Award
Jodie Foster – Haygate Veterinary Centre, Muxton, Shropshire 
Jodie’s keen interest in animal behaviour has seen her complete numerous courses in this field, to both increase her knowledge and help owners who come into the clinic. She also collaborates with the Pet Blood Bank organising blood drives in her practice to ensure there is a plentiful supply in the area. 
International Cat Care Welfare Award
Agnes Dufau – Plataforma Gatera 
As president of Plataforma Gatera, Agnes has travelled all over Spain to ensure the welfare of cats. Because of the excellent work the charity does at controlling the population of cats in Barcelona, Agnes is often called up to present best practice advice at conferences. She has also been responsible for organising the Barcelona Athenaeum Feline Seminar, which is in its fifth year. Last year’s conference saw speakers from Italy, Belgium, Portugal, Austria and France share their strategies on cat protection and welfare.
Speaking on Twitter, Vet of the Year Marc Abraham said: “Just won ‘Vet of the Year Award’. Thanks to everyone for supporting Pup Aid – this one’s for all of you.”
Jodie Foster, VN Times Welfare Nurse of the Year, said: “Awards like these really help raise awareness of the work veterinary nurses and other veterinary professionals play in improving animal welfare.”
Vanessa Waddon of Hope Rescue, the Charity Team of the Year, said: “Even though we are a small charity, we do try to make a big impact and it is wonderful Ceva are here in recognition of the important work smaller charities like Hope Rescue do.”
Ceva managing director Alan Doyle said: “The panel was overwhelmed by the quality of the entries. It is truly wonderful to read so many stories about honourable people dedicating their time to improve the welfare of animals, both in the UK and internationally. The judges had a tough time whittling down the shortlist as there were so many well-deserved entries; however, we are pleased with the final result.”
One of the judges, Claire Bessant, chief executive of International Cat Care, said: “These awards provide a real insight into the lengths people are prepared to go to in order to improve animal welfare. The stories were both tear-jerking and inspiring; each and every one deserves to be a winner.”
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