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Leading animal welfare charities announce student vet award winners

15 April 2016
Leading animal welfare charities announce student vet award winners

Cats Protection and Dogs Trust have announced the winning veterinary students in their fifth annual Extra Mural Studies (EMS) Awards.

The awards recognise individuals who have highlighted a particular cat or dog issue after carrying out a practical placement at one of the welfare organisation’s UK centres.

The Cats Protection winner Alicia Jones (pictured), and runner-up Hayley McFarlane, both veterinary students from the University of Bristol, will be presented with their awards on Tuesday 26 April at the charity’s Bridgend Adoption Centre.

Dogs Trust’s winner, runner-up and finalists were presented with their awards at a lunch in recognition of the awards at the British Small Animal Veterinary Association congress on 8 April 2016.

The two animal welfare charities jointly launched the EMS Awards in 2010 and every year they invite third, fourth and fifth year veterinary students to enhance their studies by gaining hands-on work experience at one of their centres. Afterwards they can submit a report to the charity about a relevant feline or canine issue.

Cats Protection gave 15 work experience placements to veterinary students this year and received nine submitted reports, while Dogs Trust offered 43 placements across its network of rehoming centres.

Cats Protection’s Director of Veterinary Services Maggie Roberts said: “The EMS Awards offer a great deal to veterinary students in the form of practical experience within an animal welfare environment, and their reports help them to focus on a specific aspect in detail, also giving us a fresh perspective on the topic.

“Choosing a winning student was incredibly hard as we had some excellent entries and I would like to thank all those who took part in the fifth successful year of the awards.”

Alicia Jones, the winner of the Cats Protection EMS award, compiled a report on stress within cats in rescue and rehoming centres and how it is minimised.

She said: “I am thrilled to be presented with this award. During my time at the charity’s National Cat Centre in Sussex it was a pleasure to see many of the practical methods of reducing stress for cats in rehoming centres in action. Cats are solitary beings and not used to confinement with large numbers of others, so minimising the unavoidable stress they face while going through the rescue and rehoming process is vital.”

Dogs Trust’s winner, Isabella Marshall was placed at the charity’s Salisbury centre and investigated the welfare of dogs in shelter kennels. Their runner-up was Susannah Mortimer who worked at Dogs Trust Shoreham to research the importance of recognising appeasement and displacement behaviour in dogs in a veterinary consultation room.

The charity’s two other finalists were Tom Hinchliffe and Harry Williams who worked with Dogs Trust’s rehoming centres in Darlington and Bridgend respectively to investigate the issue of compulsory microchipping of dogs.

Paula Boyden Dogs Trust Veterinary Director said: “We were amazed at the calibre of reports the students submitted this year. Isabella, Susannah, Harry and Tom stood out for their in-depth research into their chosen topics and tackled challenging issues which we hope can play an interesting role in the continuing evolution of Dogs Trust.

“It was incredibly hard picking a winner, but Isabella nudged ahead due to her clear thinking and passion for the topic and the fact that it was an issue so close to our hearts at Dogs Trust. We’re incredibly proud of all of the nominees and to have been able to offer so many placements at our network of rehoming is very promising, for us and them.”

Addressing a topic that is at the core of all Dogs Trust does, Isabella’s focus on welfare of dogs in kennels struck a chord with all on the panel.

Isabella said: “I’m so delighted to have won the award. Dogs Trust already go to great lengths to ensure the dogs in their care receive the highest standards of welfare and when I was addressing the issue it became apparent just how far they go. I applied the five freedoms that every dog has access to and by applying this within the real-life setting of one of the charity’s rehoming centres I was able to get a better understanding how to ensure that the dogs are in the happiest conditions possible, something that will ultimately improve their chances of being rehomed.“

Winning reports are those that exceed expectations, explore fresh ideas and engage the veterinary and behaviour teams at Cats Protection and Dogs Trust.

Veterinary students wishing to apply for placements with Cats Protection or Dogs Trust for 2016/2017 can speak to their EMS co-ordinator.

~ Ends ~

 Cats Protection

For further information, including photos or an interview, please contact Cats Protection’s Media Office on 01825 741 911, at media.office@cats.org.uk, or @CPMediaTeam on Twitter.

Notes to Editors:

  1. Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline welfare charity and helps over 205,000 cats each year through its national network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 32 centres.
  2. Cats Protection’s vision is a world where every cat is treated with kindness and an understanding of its needs.
  3. Cats Protection’s registered charity number is 203644 (England and Wales) and SC037711 (Scotland). Founded as the Cats Protection League in 1927, the charity adopted the name Cats Protection in 1998. We ask that you use the name Cats Protection when referring to the charity in all published material.
  4. More information about the work of Cats Protection can be found at www.cats.org.uk


Dogs Trust

For further information about Dogs Trust please contact the team on 020 7837 0006 or email pressoffice@dogstrust.org.uk.


Notes to editors:

  1. Dogs Trust is the UK’s largest dog welfare charity which cares for 17,000 dogs a year across its network of 20 rehoming centres in the UK and one in Ireland
  2. Dogs Trust is working towards the day when every dog can live free from the threat of unnecessary destruction
  3. More information about the work of the charity or how you can get involved can be found at www.dogstrust.org.uk