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Following a glitzy presentation ceremony held at Birmingham’s Burlington Hotel, the winners of the 2014 Animal Welfare Awards have been announced.

The Ceva Animal Welfare Awards, now in their third year, recognise volunteers, charity workers and veterinary professionals who have gone the extra mile in improving animal welfare around the world. After receiving hundreds of entries, category winners were decided by apanel of industry professionals, including Christopher Laurence MBE BVSc and Claire Bessant of International Cat Care.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, head judge Christopher Laurence, said: “It is always so nice to be here in recognition of such a broad range of winners, from Luke Gamble and his remarkable work in India, to more local welfare heroes such as Joanna Beumer from the Retired Greyhound Trust, who has worked tirelessly to re-home thousands of dogs. The evening has run very smoothly, and there is a wonderful atmosphere shared by all here.”

Winners were presented with their award on stage by head judge, Christopher Laurence, and a representative from each of the category sponsors, which this year included Veterinary Times, VNTimes, Blue Cross, PDSA, Your Cat & Your Dog magazine, International Cat Care and NADIS.

The winners of the 2014 Ceva Animal Welfare Awards are as follows:

Christopher Laurence Vet of the Year Award - in association with the Veterinary Times
Marc Abraham - Veterinary Surgeon and founder of Pup Aid. 

Volunteer of the Year Welfare Award – in association with Blue Cross
Johanna Beumer – Whittingham Kennels, Essex. 

Farm Animal Welfare Award – in association with Nadis
Molly McKay – Norfolk Farm Vets Ltd, Grimston, Norfolk.

Charity Professional of the Year – in association with PDSA
Luke Gamble – Worldwide Veterinary Service. 

Charity Team of the Year – in association with Your Cat and Your Dog magazine
Hope Rescue - a small charity dedicated to rescuing stray and abandoned dogs. 

VN Times Welfare Nurse of the Year Award
Jodie Foster – Haygate Veterinary Centre (Muxton). 

International Cat Care Welfare Award
Agnes Dufau – Plataforma Gatera.

Upon receiving their award, Vanessa Waddon of Hope Rescue, winners of the Charity Team of the Year Award, said: “We are so proud to have been recognised for all the hard work that our volunteers and one paid member of staff do. We are a very small charity, and it is amazing to have been picked as winners over hundreds of other larger charities, all deserving of awards for the fantastic work they do in animal welfare. Even though we are a small charity, we do try to make a big impact and it is wonderful that Ceva are here in recognition of the important work that smaller charities, like Hope Rescue, do.”

Ceva managing director, Alan Doyle added: “The judging panel were overwhelmed by the quality of the entries we received this year. 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 short list as there were so many well-deserved entries; however we are pleased with the final result.”

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