Nominations for this year’s PDSA Pet Survivor Awards are closed, and the judges have shortlisted six miracle pets – three dogs, a cat, a rabbit and a ferret. It is now up to the public vote to decide which one of them will get the prize.

The finalists of the competition, held by leading vet charity PDSA, have all reached this stage of the PDSA Pet Survivor Awards after pulling through dreadful injuries that very nearly claimed their lives.


Buddy the Jack Russell suffered horrific burns to his whole back and sides in December 2015, when his attempt at getting to the boiling chicken casserole went horrible wrong. Once his fur was shaved off it became clear. As Buddy was almost 13 at the time, vets weren’t sure he could withstand the difficult treatment ahead – but decided to give him a fighting chance, and Buddy made the best of it, wagging his tail all the way through.
Buddy’s skin has now fully healed, although his skin remains sensitive and partly without fur – something easily hidden under the little jumpers his owners make for him!


Arthur the cat went missing for a few days last June, and eventually dragged himself back home in dreadful condition: he had an old trap clamped around his legs, and his teeth and claws were badly damaged, likely from his struggle to chew through the string that had secured the trap.
Arthur’s leg couldn’t be saved, but he survived the horrific ordeal and was soon dashing around on his remaining three legs. Vets were amazed by the speed of his recovery!


Bodie the Labrador was attacked by another dog in July 2016, resulting in terrible injures where his skin had simply been torn away.
The vet operated for over five hours to stitch Bodie back together, and Bodie surprised everybody by pulling through, but he still needed constant care, and his family found out that their pet insurance hadn’t automatically renewed. With a vet bill of several thousand pounds already, they fundraised to cover the costs and then registered Bodie at PDSA for continued treatment. He needed more surgeries and countless dressing changes, but he was a perfect patient through it all. He’s still on his way to recovery, but finally able to have short walks outside.


Hans the Dutch rabbit was abandoned in the early this days of 2016 with a badly infected wound on his head that turned out to be a bite, from either a dog or a fox. He was also underweight, and his teeth were in a bad way. Gwen Butler, who runs the charity that rescued him, felt that by surviving the attack in the first place he had earned himself a second chance. The vets who treated him was able to save his ear, and his head wound has since healed – with only a small bald patch remaining on the ear that almost got amputated.


Darcy the Cocker Spaniel was on walk at Glascarnoch Dam in the Highlands last July when she fell down a 60-foot concrete slipway. She survived the fall, but was badly injured and, by the time the fire brigade reached her, she was slipping into hypothermia. Emergency surgery was needed to stop her internal bleeding, but more more was to be done: air was leaking into her chest cavity, her liver was damaged, her pelvis was fractured, her front leg was fractured and dislocated, and her back leg was an open wound with her femur shattered into five pieces. Thanks to the constant care of professional and her family, and to her sheer determination, Darcy is now full recovered and loves running outside again – possibly well away from dams.


Dobby the ferret escaped from his house on March 2016, and turned up in a nearby garden. He was attacked by a large dog, who got a hold of him and shook him violently. Saved by the dog’s owner, Dobby seemed to have no injures – until his condition worsened, and a scan revealed he had a ruptured intestine which had resulted in severe peritonitis. The surgery was a success, removing the damaged part of Dobby’s intestine, and within a few days he was back home with his owner and his brother Kreacher. Dobby has now fully healed, and is once again his mischievous self.

PDSA Senior Vet Sean Wensley, who helped judge the competition, said, “Reading these extraordinary cases makes me proud to be part of such a hard-working and dedicated profession. Veterinary teams save the lives of much loved pets like these every day. The tragic and painful circumstances endured by these pets, along with the devotion shown by their owners, makes them all worthy contenders for the PDSA Pet Survivor title.”

You can vote your favourite pet online. The vote closes on Sunday 4 December – so be quick to choose, even though it’s hard to!

Images provided by PDSA.


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