Hero cats and dogs who brighten up our lives are given Mirror People’s Pet Awards

Hero cats and dogs who brighten up our lives are given Mirror People’s Pet Awards

It was a night to celebrate the animals who brighten up our lives, and the heroes who save them.

The winners of the Mirror People’s Pet Awards were honoured at a star-studded ceremony earlier this month, which you can watch online tonight.

They included dogs and cats who have overcome impossible odds, and pets who now help humans to deal with their own traumas.

Loose Women’s Judi Love hosted the awards and winners included therapy dog Maggie, who was rescued from Lebanon where thugs used her for shooting practice and now brings hope to others in care homes, schools and hospitals in Brighton.

Staffordshire bull terrier Max was named Dogs Trust Dog of the year and owner Amelia Piper, 19 was given the award by TV’s Pete Wicks.

Adopted Max had been used in dog fights but had a gentle nature and was a perfect assistance dog for Amelia’s disabled sister. Max, 12, is now the ambassador of the Senior Staffy Club, a charity that helps rehome older Staffies.

He also visits lonely older people in Conwy, Wales. Amelia, said: “I want to show the world that Staffies’ unwarranted bad reputation is not fair.”

Springer spaniel Reggie, rescued after surviving 34 hours in a crevice after falling in a forest near Swansea, also got an award. Therapy cat Mr London Meow, who visits hospitals in London, won Cat of the Year after becoming an Instagram star.

In an emotional moment, window cleaner Russell Jones picked up the internet sensation award for his lurcher, Billy, who was an online hit when Russell broke his ankle and needed to use crutches – and Billy limped with him in sympathy.

Tearful Russell revealed Billy had died from cancer but added: “His memory is going to live on.”

A special recognition award went to Louise Russell, whose charity Give A Dog A Bone unites pets and elderly people.

She received a tribute from comic Ricky Gervais, while Countryfile host John Craven, who gave her with the award with actress Patsy Kensit, said: “You’re not just rescuing dogs, you’re rescuing older people as well.”

Another special recognition went to Mary Wakeham and her charity, Refuge4Pets, which provides foster care for pets whose owners are leav-ing abusive relationships.

She was given her award by two dames, Olym-pic star Kelly Holmes and Woman’s Hour’s Jenni Murray, who told her: “I could not admire you more.”

Other stars at the event included Love Island ’s Gemma Owen and singer Nicole Appleton.