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RSPCA Lancashire East Branch

RSPCA Lancashire East Branch

cruelty / advice line 0300 1234 999

Major Award for our Julie!

13th Jan 2014

The RSPCA staff member who risked her own life to rescue a drowning dog in a Lancashire Reservoir has been awarded one of the RSPCA’s top honours – The Queen Victoria Silver Medal for Animal Life Saving.

Julie Vickers, (37) from Darwen, who works as an animal care assistant at Altham RSPCA centre was walking her own dog Misty at Entwistle Reservoir in June when she heard shouting and children screaming and quickly realised that Foxi was in grave danger out in the middle of the reservoir. Foxi had drifted far into the water and could not get back to shore, a current was dragging her and she was exhausted. Foxi’s horrified family stood and watched as their beloved dog was clearly losing the fight. Without hesitation, Julie took off her shoes, dived into the water and swam out to where Foxi was drowning, put a lead around the dogs neck and swam her back to safety.

This heroic, selfless act that undoubtedly saved the family pet has been acknowledged by the rare RSPCA Silver Medal.

A presentation took place on Thursday 9th January at Altham RSPCA animal centre. RSPCA Chief Inspector Beth Clements made the presentation and said that she had never heard of anybody receiving this award, as it is so rare. Julie said “I just felt scared for the dog and wanted to help. I knew I could swim that distance and adrenaline just took over.” The picture above is Julie with Foxi, on the day of the award ceremony.

What Julie did has not only made Foxi’s family very happy, as well as made all of her family, friends and colleagues at RSPCA Altham animal centre very proud of her, but it is also very dangerous. We do not advise anybody to swim after a pet as there are a great many dangers.

Well done Julie!

RSPCA Lancashire East Branch
Animal Centre, Nearer Holker House Farm, Off Enfield Road, Altham, Accrington BB5 5UU.
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