Pet hero dog 2019

Nominate a pet hero for the Blue Cross Medal

Previous winner Lily-Rose, the self-taught assistance pet, pictured

Black and white cat - Blue Cross Medal winner

Could your pet be the next winner of the Blue Cross Medal?

All pet owners know what a huge difference animals make to our lives, and we are launching a nationwide search for ‘tails’ of extra-special pets to find the next winner of our Blue Cross Medal.

We want to prove that not all heroes wear capes and the 2022 Medal celebrates the everyday heroes in our lives. So if you own or know of a pet who has done something inspirational, saved a life, or even simply changed someone's life, we want to hear from you.

Last year’s Blue Cross Medal winner was blind therapy cat, Carrot – a four-year-old ginger and white tomcat who was recognised for his role in helping to bring happiness and comfort to patients and their families at a Hospice.

Example nominations from previous years include:

  • much-needed support after the death of, or separation from, a partner
  • child’s best friend
  • fitness motivator
  • soul mate
  • confidence givers
  • stories of bravery
  • life-changing partnerships or assistance animals

The Blue Cross Medal is closed to nominations on 26 August 2022.

Nominate a pet for the Blue Cross Medal

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Judging criteria

All nominations received will be considered and the following criteria will be used to guide the judge's decision:

  • Has the pet done something to change or save someone’s life?
  • All entries will be judged on the story’s merits, even if the pet is linked with another organisation.
  • Judges will consider a pet's background – have they triumphed against adversity? Or perhaps they are a rescue pet that has gone on to achieve great things.
  • Judges will consider the owner’s background – have they shown remarkable courage or coped with tragedy or illness?
  • In order to celebrate unrecognised pet heroes, judges may take into consideration any previous awards or publicity received.
  • Judges will consider their emotional response to the story.

Previous winners

The Blue Cross Medal 2020 was awarded to Carrots, a blind therapy cat, for his role in helping to bring happiness and comfort to patients and their families at a Marie Curie Hospice in Bradford.

Carrots lying down wearing medal

The Blue Cross Medal 2019 was awarded to Lily-Rose, an eight-year-old Papillion crossbreed dog. Lily saved her owner from choking to death on a snack and alerted her when her mother collapsed in the night after a heart attack. Lily-Rose also performs essential tasks around the house, picking up items dropped by her owner’s mother, who suffers with arthritis, and helps with essential household chores, including the laundry.

Lily-Rose with owner Jenny wearing her medal.

A young mastiff called Lemmy won the award after being nominated by his owner for saving the lives of her two sons. Rescue-dog Lemmy brought his young owner Max back from dark depression and suicidal thoughts and turned his life around. A true hero in every sense of the word.

Romeo was nominated by his loving owner as the five-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier cross spends a great deal of time visiting stroke patients and residents in care homes, and regularly donates blood to the Royal Veterinary College saving numerous doggie lives. Romeo completely transforms the stereotype for this lovely breed with all the incredible ways he helps out people and other dogs.

Former rescue dog Bonnie overcame a tough start in life and went on to become an outstanding Pets as Therapy Dog, bringing comfort to hundreds of vulnerable people in her community, from children with fear of dogs to people at the end of their lives.

Daisy, a labrador trained to detect cancer by Medical Detection Dogs, was awarded the centenary edition of the Blue Cross Medal after saving hundreds of lives, including that of her owner, by detecting cancer.

Awarded to Jake, a Metropolitan Police explosives dog, who cleared the scene at the Tavistock Square bus bombing, and walked the tube tunnels at Kings Cross so paramedics had access to the injured.

Jim, a 19 year old cat, saved the lives of his family by waking them up when their house caught fire.

Major Methuen of the King's Royal Rifles was awarded the medal for the rescue of horses under shellfire on the battlefield in France.