Rescue dog who fosters cats in Manchester wins Vets Now Pet of the Year award

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Gypsy is keeping up her good work despite having cancer.

A brave rescue dog which helps other animals get ready for rehoming has won an award.

Border collie cross Gypsy has ‘fostered’ scores of other cats, rabbits and dogs taken in by owner Jo Yoli, from Sale in Trafford.

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And the 11-year-old caring canine has kept on with her work despite battling cancer herself.

Her caring efforts have seen named a runner-up in the Vets Now Pet of the Year awards for 2022.

Gypsy has been nominated for a Pets Now awardGypsy has been nominated for a Pets Now award
Gypsy has been nominated for a Pets Now award | ugc pr

Gypsy’s story

Dog walker Jo adopted Gypsy from an animal charity 10 years ago after she’d been living semi-wild with a pack of other dogs on a farm.

“She didn’t want to live indoors and hadn’t been around people, so she was terrified at first,” said Jo, 40, who also works at an animal sanctuary.

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“But she very quickly bonded with me and soon showed she is such a gentle soul who just loves everybody.

“I fostered before having Gypsy and once she had settled in, I started doing it again. I tend to take dogs with special needs, often with broken bones or that have been abused, plus lots of new-born orphan kittens who need hand-rearing.

Gypsy with some of her foster kittensGypsy with some of her foster kittens
Gypsy with some of her foster kittens | ugc

“Gypsy welcomes all of them, especially the hand-rears. She takes them under her wing and toilets, washes and snuggles them. It’s like a comfort blanket for them, having some warm fur to curl up in.

“I need to feed them every two hours and she always gets up and watches on. If she could feed them herself then she would do.

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“When I have foster rabbits, she’ll sit with them in the garden and is just so gentle.”

Gypsy’s cancer diagnosis was made late last year when a lump on her shoulder blade was investigated during a routine check-up. A subsequent CT scan showed the sarcoma hadn’t spread, but she had an unrelated cancer on her heart.

Rather than an amputation, surgery was carried out last December to remove part of Gypsy’s shoulder blade and cut away the cancer. She had radiotherapy after the operation and is now on anti-cancer medication to control the tumour on her heart.

And it hasn’t stopped Gypsy in her caring role, Jo says.

Jo with GypsyJo with Gypsy
Jo with Gypsy | ugc pr

“She’s come through it well, just a bit lame on her leg because of the shoulder surgery,” said Jo.

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“As soon as she was back, she was right into looking after the little ones again.

“It’s kitten season and I have already had ones for her to nurture, with plenty more on the way.

“I was playing a video of a friend’s foster kitten the other day and she was at the screen, wondering why it wasn’t there.

“Caring for other animals is just in her and I’m so proud she got the Vets Now Pet of the Year award.”

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Dave Leicester, who is responsible for a team of experienced vets at the Video Vets Now service, said: “After a tumultuous two years, we wanted to celebrate the important role pets have played for so many families and individuals across the UK.

“It’s a chance to shine a light on pets who have overcome injuries, or other challenges, and provided their owners with overwhelming comfort and support.”

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