The event took place on Thursday 4 April at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham, where Maggie was presented with the JA Wight Memorial Award. This celebrates the memory of Alf Wight, otherwise known to millions as the fictitious James Herriot.
Presenting the award to Maggie was Kim Hamilton, CEO of the Blue Cross, the charity sponsoring the category. On receiving the award, Maggie said: “The work I do for Cats Protection is very rewarding and to be recognised in this way is a great honour. From reading and watching James Herriot stories while I was growing up I learnt very quickly that the three essential qualities needed to be a vet are compassion for animals, compassion for people and a good sense of humour.”
“At Cats Protection it is no different and I’m pleased to be able to use my knowledge to further animal welfare and receiving such a prestigious award is extremely humbling,” she continued.
The award is open to any vet on the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons register, and is presented to recognise outstanding contributions to the welfare of companion animals. Maggie’s own long and successful contribution to animal welfare began when she qualified as a vet at the University of Edinburgh in 1986.
She first came to work for Cats Protection in 1997 for a period of two years when she was appointed as the charity’s first veterinary officer, and then returned to the charity as head of veterinary services in 2006. She was made director of veterinary services in 2008, and now has responsibility for all aspects of the charity’s work on cat welfare and neutering. She also a founder member of the recently formed Association of Charity Vets.
For further information about Cats Protection, please visit the website at www.cats.org.uk