Welwyn Garden City super Staffie honoured at RSPCA award ceremony

PUBLISHED: 14:04 04 July 2019 | UPDATED: 14:04 04 July 2019

Kate Lawler, Steph Hartley, Romeo and John Bishop. Picture: Andrew Forsyth

Kate Lawler, Steph Hartley, Romeo and John Bishop. Picture: Andrew Forsyth

Archant

A hero Staffie who has saved more than 30 dogs' lives with blood donations has won an RSPCA Honours award.

Romeo, the seven-year-old Staffie - who lives with his owner Steph Hartley in Welwyn Garden City - is a therapy dog as well as a canine blood donor.

Romeo won the Service Animal Award at the RSPCA Honours event last Thursday. Steph and Romeo both attended the star-studded event alongside fellow animal lovers and were presented with their award by The Only Way Is Essex star Pete Wicks.

Steph said: "I'm so proud of him for winning and I'm proud of him all the time. I think it's wonderful and so nice for him to get recognition for what he does and how special he is because he's such an amazing dog."

The friendly dog visits patients in the stroke ward at Stevenage's Lister Hospital, as well as popping into a care home where he brings some much-needed joy to everyone he meets.

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The people Romeo meets may no longer be able to get out to see animals anymore, so this brings such joy to the wards he visits.

He is also a blood donor for the Royal Veterinary College and has so far saved 38 dogs' lives through his vital donations.

Steph continued: "Romeo is a Staffie and for some people that comes with some misconceptions about the breed but he is the biggest baby, he weighs 28kgs and he still wants to sit on my lap. He's the sweetest, loveliest dog, and it's really nice to show just how wonderful Staffies are and that the bad press they sometimes get really isn't fair."

The RSPCA event saw celebrities John Bishop, Deborah Meaden, Peter Egan, Kate Lawler, Matt Johnson and Pete Wicks come together with winners and nominators to celebrate their shared love for animals.

Chris Sherwood, chief executive at the RSPCA, said: "The RSPCA Honours are an opportunity to celebrate the amazing animals and outstanding people who work to improve animal welfare. We all share this goal to see a world where animals are treated with respect and compassion and so as the oldest and biggest animal welfare charity in England and Wales, the RSPCA takes great honour in celebrating these amazing individuals, animals, and incredible organisations at the RSPCA Honours awards."

To help the RSPCA visit www.rspca.org.uk.

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