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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 201

Date:- 15 May 2005

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Search is on for PDSA Pet Survivor

HAS your pet survived horrific injuries or pulled through from a life-threatening condition against all odds? If so, PDSA would like to hear your story. 

Entries are now being sought for the 12th annual PDSA Pet Survivor of the Year Award. The UK's leading veterinary charity is looking for pets that have displayed exceptional determination to survive in overcoming serious illness or injury. Pets must have been successfully treated by a veterinary surgeon at a PDSA PetAid hospital, PDSA PetAid practice or private veterinary practice for a life- threatening condition during the period 1 January 2004 to 31 March 2005.

PDSA Pet Survivor Award Organiser, Hilary Nelson, comments:- "Every year we receive hundreds of remarkable entries. This Award is the perfect way for pet owners and veterinary practices alike to demonstrate their outstanding pet survival stories. We seek to recognise both the courage of the pet and the skill of the veterinary team."

Last year's Pet Survivor winner was Del Boy the school donkey, who made a remarkable recovery from terrible injuries after being hit by a car. Del Boy's heart-rending tale began following a bungled attempt to steal him and his donkey companion, Rodney, from their field at Smallwood C of E Primary School in Sandbach, Cheshire. 

The heartless thieves removed parts of the perimeter fence around the field. In the pitch black of night, the distressed donkeys unfortunately galloped out of their then insecure field and headed straight towards a main road, where, an unsuspecting driver collided with Del Boy as he ran across the carriageway. Horrifically, Del Boy was pushed onto the bonnet of the car, smashing the windscreen before being catapulted over the top.

The driver of the car was unharmed despite the car being a write-off but Del Boy, although still standing on all fours, was seriously injured. He had a deep wound to his head, internal injuries with suspected liver damage, cuts and bruises and deep shock. Stricken Del Boy showed immense character to pull through from his injuries and with support and encouragement, he was back grazing with Rodney just 6 weeks after his ordeal.

Del Boy scooped the North West regional heat of the Award before going on to win the overall title of PDSA Pet Survivor of the Year as a result of his miraculous survival story.

Anyone wishing to nominate their pet should fill in an entry form, available from PDSA PetAid hospitals, PDSA shops and all private veterinary practices that treat small animals throughout the UK, or forms can be requested through the PDSA website ( or by calling 0800 917 2509. The final date for receipt of entries is Friday 1July 2005.

Prizes for Pet Survivor Award winners include a pet-friendly holiday break and gift voucher for the overall national winner, portraits and pet-related goodies for regional winners, and a hamper and vouchers for the veterinary practice that treat the national winner.

Over the years, regional and national PDSA Pet Survivor titles have been awarded to a variety of pets including a pony, a tortoise, a cockerel, a goat and a hedgehog.

 TA unit granted freedom of Liverpool

A LIVERPOOL Territorial Army unit has been granted the city's top honour. On Sunday 15 May the 156 (North West) Transport Regiment will be admitted to the Freedom Roll of Associations and Institutions of the City of Liverpool. The unit has been given the accolade for its support in military operations in Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan.

Hundreds of regiment members, ex-servicemen and women and their families will attend the ceremony at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral. Following the service, the regiment will exercise its new right to march through the city to St. George's Hall. The Royal Logistic Corps Band and army vehicles will accompany the unit on the march.

Liverpool's Lord Mayor, Councillor Frank Roderick, said:- "I am delighted that we are officially acknowledging all the wonderful work that this unit has been involved in. They provide a vital service both in peacetime and on military operations, and their achievements are all the more amazing as many of the servicemen and women have civilian 'day jobs'. Sunday's service will be a great event and it will be magnificent to see the regiment parade through the city."

The primary role of 156 (NW) Transport Regiment is to keep the British Army on the move by transporting anything from weapons and vehicles to food and water supplies.

Lieutenant Colonel Marcus Gartside, Commanding Officer, 156 (NW) Transport Regiment, said:- "Our soldiers and officers are immensely proud to receive the Freedom of Liverpool. It is a great honour, both for the regiment and for every individual soldier. The nature of the TA is such that most of our soldiers live in this area and have civilian occupations by day. It is a wide mix - from teachers and traffic wardens to binmen and museum curators. They work for the TA at evenings and weekends. It will be a proud day for each and every one of them, to receive the freedom of their home city."

Leader of Liverpool City Council, Councillor Mike Storey, is attending the special ceremony. He said:- "The regiment's admission to the Freedom Roll is the highest honour the city can give to an association or institution. I am immensely proud of the service they give to the city and our country. The 156 (NW) Transport Regiment is a worthy recipient of the accolade."

As a TA unit, most soldiers live and work in Liverpool. Teachers, council officials, vets and even a museum curator all dedicate their evenings and weekends to the TA.

Pat McDonald has been a member of the TA for 18 years. He is a self-employed HGV driver by day, and is a Staff Sergeant for the Territorials. He was deployed to Basra, Iraq, for 6 months where he issued bomb-disposal kits and disposed of seized weapons. He said:- "I'm born and bred in Liverpool, so am really looking forward to parading side-by-side with my fellow TA soldiers to receive the freedom of the city on Sunday. It's going to be a special day for us and a big honour for the regiment."

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