Courageous canines in running for ‘Pet Hero’ title

Vets4Pets Lisburn finalist Alfie made a miraculous recovery after being diagnosed with cancer.

Vets4Pets Lisburn finalist Alfie made a miraculous recovery after being diagnosed with cancer.

Two courageous canines from Lisburn have been shortlisted as finalists in Vets4Pets’ search to find Northern Ireland’s Pet Hero.

Black Labrador Ara and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Alfie are among nine dogs and cats in the running to take the overall title.

Vets4Pets Lisburn Longstone finalist Ara saved her owners' lives by alerting them to a fire in their caravan.

Vets4Pets Lisburn Longstone finalist Ara saved her owners' lives by alerting them to a fire in their caravan.

Ara, the Vets4Pets Lisburn Longstone finalist, was rescued by a charity from the streets of Sarajavo, Bosnia and later adopted by a local family. She saved her owners when she awoke them in the middle of the night during a family holiday to alert them of a fire in their caravan.

Lisa Gilmore, her husband Morris and their six-year-old son Evan were asleep in the caravan at Shanlieve Holiday Park in Cranfield, Co Down in May this year when a fire started in the kitchen.

“Ara woke us up about 4am and the whole caravan was filled with smoke,” Lisa told the Star. “She was whimpering and crying and pawing at my face to wake me up. Thankfully we all managed to get out safely, thanks to Ara.

“She’s definitely a hero. She’s very protective of the whole family.”

Alfie, the Vets4Pets Lisburn finalist, was given only 48 hours to live when cancer spread and his blood count became dangerously low. However, after a life-saving blood transfusion, he started to improve and show that he’s a real survivor.

Ara and Alfie were chosen for the final of the competition from more than 75 entries across Northern Ireland.

Members of the public are now being asked to vote for their favourite finalist by logging on to their local Vets4Pets Facebook page.

The winner will be selected at the end of September and will be rewarded with the opportunity of becoming the face of a new Vets4Pets marketing campaign in Northern Ireland. They will also receive a Pets at Home/Vets4Pets hamper worth £100 plus a £25 Pets at Home voucher.

Kerensa Scott, veterinary surgeon at Vets4Pets, said: “The competition was launched to give owners a chance to shine the spotlight on their heroic pets and we had so many nominations. It is great to see how many remarkable pets there are in Northern Ireland and how special they are to their families.

“Each Vets4Pets surgery selected a finalist from the nominations they received and posted their chosen Pet Hero on Facebook. The post with the most likes will be crowned the winner, so we’re encouraging people to vote for their favourite.”

Voting on the Vets4Pets Lisburn and Lisburn Longstone Facebook pages closes on September 30.

For more information log on to www.vets4pets.com/northern-ireland

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