Hertfordshire Dog Wins PETA Europe’S Cutest Rescue Animal Alive Contest

For Immediate Release:
26 June 2009
Sam Glover 020 7357 9229, ext 229; [email protected]
Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire – Over a thousand votes have been tallied and Willow has beaten nine other finalists to be crowned the winner of PETA Europe’s Cutest Rescue Animal Alive Contest. Willow, whose guardian is 29-year-old Welwyn Garden resident Chloe Hale, edged out hundreds of other loveable rescue animals to become a finalist.  PETA created the contest to show that all animals are created equal and that every dog, cat, rodent, bird or other animal purchased from a pet shop or an individual breeder fills a loving home that could have gone to an animal in an animal shelter.  Willow will be featured on the PETA Europe website PETA.org.uk

When Chloe found 7-year-old Willow at the National Animal Welfare Trust in Watford, the animal was shy and withdrawn, as her previous guardian had suffered from agoraphobia and rarely left the house. Now, Willow is outgoing and cheeky and loves running through fields and going on long walks. She also enjoys running round the allotment and playing with the garden hose! Now totally devoted to Willow, Chloe says, “I took Willow in to give her the best life she could possibly have, and she has given me deep affection in return”.

Adopting an animal from an animal shelter is always the best option. Animals in pet shops are rarely kept in suitable conditions, and most are kept in cages or runs that are far too small to fulfil their needs. They are given few opportunities to exercise, and they are sometimes forced to stay in cages until they are sold. They receive cheap food, and they are often starved for attention. Pet stores also fail to check prospective guardians for their suitability. Anyone who can afford an animal can take one home from a pet shop without having his or her background or home checked first.

“Willow proves that adopting any animal can fill your life with a joy and love that words can’t express,” says PETA Director Robbie LeBlanc. “All rescued animals are winners in PETA’s book because they were saved by people who love them for who they are.”

For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk