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Hearing cat crowned National Cat of the Year
Zebby and his owner Genevieve Moss.
Zebby helps his deaf owner around her home.

A cat who helps his deaf owner despite not having had any formal training has been named as National Cat of the Year 2023.

Zebby, who lives in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, with his owner Genevieve Moss was announced as the winner at the National Cat Awards at Wilton’s Music Hall in London on Monday, 17 July.

The hearing cat helps Ms Moss around the house by alerting her to sounds she can’t hear when she doesn’t have her hearing aid on. He taps her when the phone is ringing and paces about in front of her when someone is at the door.

After winning the public vote in the Family Fur-ever category, Zebby was chosen as the overall winner by a panel of veterinary experts and celebrities which included former England international footballer David Seaman and his wife Frankie Poultney.

The winners of three other categories were also announced at the ceremony, which was hosted by TV presenter Dawn O’Porter:
  • Social Star: Eric, who has gone from being a stray to become a rising star of Twitter and Instagram
  • Cat Colleagues: Henry IX, who provides companionship to the gardening team at Hampton Court Palace
  • Moggy Marvels: Willow, who fetched help when her diabetic owner lost consciousness.
After Zebby won his award, Ms Moss said: “I am so proud of Zebby for showing the world how intuitive and caring cats can be, and what a positive effect they can have on people’s lives. I can’t imagine life without Zebby and I’m over the moon that he’s been honoured in the National Cat Awards. Living on my own and being deaf means life could be lonely, but not with Zebby around – he’s my hero.”

The annual awards are run by animal-welfare charity Cats Protection.

National Cat Awards organiser Ashley Fryer added: “From the moment we read his entry form, we knew Zebby was something special. Zebby is clearly devoted to Genevieve, and their story highlights the powerful bond that exists between people and their cats. He’s a shining example of the joy and comfort a cat can bring.”

Image (C) Cats Protection

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Charities' XL bully neutering scheme closes

News Story 1
 A scheme that helped owners of XL bully dogs with the cost of neutering has closed to new applications due to high demand.

The scheme, run by the RSPCA, Blue Cross, and Battersea, has helped 1,800 dogs and their owners after XL bullies were banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

In England and Wales, owners of XL bully dogs which were over one year old on 31 January 2021 have until 30 June 2024 to get their dog neutered. If a dog was between seven months and 12 months old, it must be neutered by 31 December 2024. If it was under seven months old, owners have until 30 June 2025.

More information can be found on the Defra website. 

Click here for more...
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Avian flu cattle outbreak spreads to tenth US state

Cattle in two dairy herds in Iowa have tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), making it the tenth state in the USA to be affected by the ongoing outbreak of the disease in cattle.

Since March 2024, more than 80 herds across the USA have been affected by the virus and three dairy workers have tested positive. Authorities have introduced measures to limit the spread of the virus and farmers have been urged to strengthen their biosecurity protocols.

Mike Naig, Iowa secretary of agriculture, said: "Given the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza within dairy cattle in many other states, it is not a surprise that we would have a case given the size of our dairy industry in Iowa.

"While lactating dairy cattle appear to recover with supportive care, we know this destructive virus continues to be deadly for poultry."