Brave Burn Survivor Robbie Wins Pet Survivor of the Year Award

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Ben Stevens/PDSA/PA Wire


UK animal charity PDSA announced today that burn survivor Robbie the cat has won PDSA Pet Survivor of the Year for 2013, writing:

“After wowing the judges with his incredible story of survival against all the odds, Robbie’s will to live struck a chord with the public who voted in their thousands for him to win.

“The former stray kitten suffered terrible burns when he sheltered in an abandoned sofa that was later set alight. He was rescued and stayed with Broadway Veterinary Group, who provided over £10k worth of treatment over the six months Robbie was in their care. During that time he received skin grafts and daily bandage changes. Community appeals helped to raise funds towards his treatment and through all of this Robbie amazed the vet staff with his calm and friendly personality. He will be enjoying his first Christmas in his new home for life with his loving owner Gill!

“Three Christmas cheers for Robbie!”

Robbie was nominated for the competition by his now owner, Gill Smith (54), a retired police officer from South Croydon. Gill took the kitten in after his fire ordeal so he would have a safe ‘forever home’. Robbie was just six-months-old and thought to be a stray when he found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time.

PDSA Pet Survivor Award 2013
Robbie during his recovery from severe burn injuries

PDSA gives their synopsis of Robbie’s story:

Stray kitten Robbie trapped in sofa inferno
Age: 6 months (at time of injury)
Location: Herne Bay and Croydon

Looking for a dry bed for the night little stray Robbie managed to find himself a very comfy spot inside an abandoned sofa. Sometime later his sweet retreat became a raging inferno with Robbie still inside.

Robbie was rushed to nearby Broadway Vets with severe burns to his face, head, legs and paws. Principal Vet Sarah Platt said: “Robbie was in shock when he arrived and needed intensive care. He stayed with us for six months during which time he had two skin grafts and daily dressing changes. One of his back legs also had to be amputated. But Robbie always loved attention even when he was critically ill, very few animals could have coped the way he did.”

Despite the pain and discomfort, Robbie was very tolerant and patient as he received thousands of pounds worth of treatment to put him back on all-fours. Incredibly, much of this was paid for by the local community after the vet practice published appeals in the local paper.

Gill was visiting Herne Bay when she saw Robbie’s story in the local press and joined in the fundraising activities to finance his treatment. She visited him regularly, despite living some distance away and, when no owner came forward, she offered Robbie a home for life.

PDSA Vet Elaine Pendlebury said: “Robbie is a truly inspiring story for us all. He coped so well with his pain and suffering and fought back against severe injuries that not all pets would have overcome.”

Pet Survivor Judge Liz McClarnon, said she found the judging of the six finalists almost impossible as all touched her heart: “When I read Robbie’s story I thought what a beautiful and brave feline he is. To be honest I cried reading his story.”

Vet and TV presenter Steve Leonard added: “All of the Pet Survivor stories made me very proud of my profession and grateful to work alongside such dedicated animal enthusiasts. Animals so often surprise us with their stoicism and tenacity, and there are so many lessons we could learn from them. Robbie’s is a horrific story, but has an amazing outcome with a great community effort.”

“Robbie is a unique character and he still bears the physical scars from his fiery ordeal,” said Gill Smith, who helped raise funds for his care and later adopted him. “The tips of his ears are missing and the toes on his remaining back leg were ‘melted’ together into a stump. But despite this he runs around the house like a rocket. He is a little hero, and his bravery and fortitude have inspired many people in the community.”

Ms Smith is quoted in the Croyden Advertiser saying: “He has his sad moments and did a lot of sitting around looking out the window when he first arrived but I think he’s happy now.

“We just want to give him a happy home and everyone to know about his bravery.”



2 thoughts on “Brave Burn Survivor Robbie Wins Pet Survivor of the Year Award”

  1. Little Robbie Im so happy you found yourself a home..You so deserve it! You a great little guy and I wish you all the great things in life can bring you…Take good care of him he’s so special..Thanks to you Gil for taking Little Robbie in…Merry Christmas Robbie and Gil!! Tess’

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