A rabbit from Rowley Regis was awarded by the PDSA for helping his owner through a very tough time in her life.
Three-year-old Roary was nominated by owner Ellie Taylor, 18, for supporting her through a family bereavement, issues at school and her battle with anorexia.
Roary has been awarded a PDSA commendation for his devotion to Ellie, who said: “In 2011, I lost my granddad suddenly. I was also having problems at school and as a result I wasn’t able to cope with things. l became ill with an eating disorder – anorexia – and had to come out of school.
“I was getting professional help for my illness, but still felt there was something missing in my life.”
Ellie’s mum Joanne decided to get two rabbits, Roary and Tiger, in the hope that having responsibility for their care would help her daughter to get better. Tiger died in 2012.
“Because I couldn’t go to school, I spent every day with Roary and Tiger,” said Ellie. “They helped ease my pain and slowly I began to feel like myself again.
“It’s amazing that animals can make you feel like this. Roary, in particular, has changed my life. He’s my best friend, companion and happiness. Without him I don’t think I’d be the person I am today.”
Ian Fleming, senior vet at the PDSA’s Marion and Christina Ionescu Centre of Surgical Excellence in Oldbury, presented Roary with his certificate at a special presentation on 25 February.
Mr Fleming said: “At PDSA we understand the strength and power of the bond between a pet, be it big or small, and their owner. The PDSA commendation recognises the outstanding devotion pets display and celebrates the amazing ways they enrich our lives. It is clear Roary has had a massive impact on Ellie’s life and is a worthy recipient of the PDSA commendation.”
Ellie said: “I am so proud of Roary and thrilled this award highlights how small pets can make a big difference to people’s lives. He will get some extra hay and lots of cuddles to celebrate.”
- For more information about PDSA’s Animal Awards programme, visit www.pdsa.org.uk/awards