A former Sun journalist has been awarded an RSPCA Honour for her work publicising a scheme to help victims of domestic violence and their pets.

For more than 100 years, the RSPCA Honours have been given to recognise people and organisations who’ve helped us in our goal to end cruelty, protect animals from abuse and further our knowledge of animal welfare.

Jennifer Tippett from Broadwas, Worcestershire, a former senior writer for Sun Woman gave the RSPCA a huge boost with a feature about PetRetreat, a scheme to which helps partner victims of domestic violence with foster carers for their pets so they can leave abusive situations.

Jennifer’s positive feature was backed by Hollyoaks star Nikki Sanderson whose character in the show was a victim of domestic violence with her partner using her love of her pet dog to control her.

An appeal in The Sun helped raise awareness and vital funds to help the Pet Retreat scheme which helped 41 families and 56 pets last year.

Jeremy Cooper, the Chief Executive of the RSPCA, said: “Jennifer’s fantastic feature about Pet Retreat not only raised much-needed funds but more importantly it raised awareness of the service. I hope any readers trapped in violent relationships because they are worried about their pets, now know we are there to help them.”

Jennifer also worked with conservationist and former MEP Stanley Johnson to highlight how deforestation is threatening the critically endangered Bornean orangutans.

Jennifer has won the National Media Award for coverage and reporting that contributes to the field of animal welfare.

Jennifer said: “I am honoured to receive this national media award. The PetRetreat domestic violence campaign is a great example of a charity, a celebrity and the media using their combined muscle to tackle an important issue.

“During my time at The Sun I also did various undercover investigations revealing the horrific living conditions and treatment of animals kept in captivity, both in zoos and circuses, a controversial subject that is close to my heart.

The RSPCA Honours ceremony was held on Saturday 18 June at The Law Society in London which was especially appropriate as 2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the Animal Welfare Act. Since it’s introduction the RSPCA has helped more than 150,000 cats and dogs.

This year 19 people who had gone the extra mile for animals were awarded with RSPCA Honours including:

● Two men who saved a much-loved cat from a house fire

● A police officer who worked tirelessly to save 33 dogs from squalid conditions

● An American woman who has improved the lives of hundreds of millions of farm animals with an assurance scheme

● An undercover RSPCA inspector who helped crack an illegal puppy selling ring making £35,000-a-week

Since its beginning in 2002, Pet Retreat has provided a safe retreat for more than 1200 pets, belonging to 800 families who have been victims of domestic abuse.

Pet Retreat was established in collaboration with Women’s Aid, an organisation that supports the victims of domestic abuse, who were concerned about the other silent sufferers – pets.

The RSPCA is currently calling for more fosterers – anyone who thinks they can offer a temporary home to an RSPCA PetRetreat dog or cat. Anyone interested should email petretreat@rspca.org.uk or call 0300 123 8278

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