Recognising animal lovers at Animal Action Awards

Presented by Bill Oddie, the Animal Action Awards celebrated a great mix of animal advocates and saviours.Each year, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) UK team comes together at the House of Lords to recognise people at our Animal Action Awards. Here we celebrate people who have decided that they won’t just sit around and watch the suffering of animals; they’d do something to help them.

The event is by far everyone’s favourite in the calendar because it is a chance to pause, to reflect and to say thank you to some really passionate and dedicated people. So often we feel burdened by the challenges that we face each day when it comes to protecting animals in need and we hear so many of the bad stories, but at the Awards we focus on the good.

I’m lucky that in my role I get to meet lots of kind supporters, inspirational figures, celebrities who use their fame for good and a host of people who work or operate within the animal welfare sector.

But, at the Animal Action Awards the people I get to meet take superlatives to a whole new level.

Now in its 17th year, this year’s awards were presented by conservationist, broadcaster and British television icon Bill Oddie. This year's winners were a great mix of animal advocates and saviours. But, there was also a twist – this year we also had a secret special award for our host Bill Oddie as a thank you for all that he has done to help raise awareness of animal, environmental and conservation issues over many, many years.

We celebrated and recognised winners that have helped a huge selection of our furred, feathered, spikey, two-legged and four-legged friends, including swans, cats and dogs, hedgehogs, foxes and more.

Plus, there was our animal of the year: a beautiful springer spaniel named Roscoe, from London Fire Brigade’s Fire Investigation Team. For 11 years he’s been sniffing out the causes of suspicious fires and helping keep Londoners safe.

London Fire Brigade’s Fire Investigation Team’s springer spaniel, named Roscoe, has been sniffing out the causes of suspicious fires for 11 years.

Just like every year, this year’s IFAW Animal Action Awards were both moving and inspirational, keeping all of us focused on the cause, and giving all of us inspiration that every animal life matters, and reminding us that we as individuals can all make a difference – whether to one animal or to thousands.

Thank you to all of the winners for all you have done for animals and humans alike.

This year’s full list of winners:

  • Vet Ruby Shorrock, from Glasgow, for providing free clinics and treatment for dogs belonging to the homeless community.
  • Diana Lewis, from North Devon, for a lifetime’s dedication to rescuing thousands of animals with her voluntary ambulance service for wildlife.
  • Louise Russell, from Glasgow, for enabling elderly people to adopt animal companions while also providing forever homes for needy cats and dogs.
  • Dan Sidley, from Selby, North Yorkshire, for rescuing and rehabilitating swans and other wildlife at his swan hospital.
  • Young fundraiser Storm Burgess, from Sheffield, for raising more than £6,000 in just 18 months for a variety of local animal charities.
  • Tonia and John Garner, from Norfolk, for rescuing and treating all kinds of animals and birds at their wildlife rescue centre.
  • Roscoe the springer spaniel, from London Fire Brigade’s Fire Investigation Team, for sniffing out the causes of suspicious fires and helping keep Londoners safe during 11 years of service.
  • Alex Farmer, from Whitby, for founding a sanctuary to rehabilitate and release wild birds and other wildlife.
  • Andy Smith, from Bradford, for tirelessly publicising the case of his stolen dog until his pet was found, and continuing his work to reunite other stolen dogs with their owners.


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Cynthia Milburn, Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
Senior Advisor, Policy Development
Jan Hannah, Campaign Manager, Northern Dogs Project
Campaign Manager, Northern Dogs Project
Kate Nattrass Atema, Program Director, Community Animal Welfare
Program Director, Community Animal Welfare
Shannon Walajtys
Manager, Animal Rescue-Disasters