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IFAW Animal Action Awards 2023: entries closing soon!

IFAW hosts global hunt for 2023 Animal Heroes of the World

Six special awards are up for grabs to recognise and celebrate people (and an animal) for their extraordinary contributions towards animal conservation, rescue, or welfare.

In 2021, Bear the Australian Koolie (lead image) won an award for saving over 100 koalas from the Black Summer bushfires.

The Animal Action Awards, hosted by IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) is returning in style with the prestigious annual event shining a spotlight on the unsung heroes around the world. It recognises outstanding efforts to support animals or help animals and people thrive together.

Our 2022 Animal Action Award Winners pictured alongside IFAW CEO Azzedine Downes (left), IFAW Chairman of the Board Mark Beaudouin (back) and Dr. Jane Goodall (right) 
Photo: Peter Stevens / © IFAW (supplied)

In 2022, the Awards recognised the achievements of George, a five-year-old English Cocker and therapy dog who shares his home life with owner prison governor and therapy dog handler Robbie Durgan and his daughter. 

Robbie Durgan with George
George has worked as a registered therapy dog for just over four and a half years in prisons, mainly in North West England.
George was also involved in palliative care, seeing prisoners through to end of life in four cases and making the family feel valued. 

He also worked in stroke recovery and visited prisoners suffering from low mood or suicidal thoughts to encourage them on the road to recovery.

Probably the most innovative of all winners has been Graham Burton who set up the Drone SAR for Lost Dogs Facebook group, which brings together a network of volunteers now numbering over 3,000 drone pilots and 2,500 ground level searchers to help find missing dogs and other animals. This free service has helped to reunite over 2,750 dogs with owners.

IFAW Award Winner Graham Burton with his dog Meg

Now in its 23rd year, this year’s event is hailed as the biggest yet with each winner to receive a GBP £1,000 cash award for the first time ever in recognition for their efforts. Winners will also get an-expenses-paid trip to London to attend the awards ceremony.

IFAW is calling for nominations for individuals and organisations that:

✔️ Demonstrated courage and resolve in helping animals in a disaster

✔️ Used technology in an innovative way to support animal rescue or conservation efforts

✔️ Helped preserve spaces for wildlife and their habitats

✔️ Showed commitment as a child or teenager to animal conservation or rescue

✔️ Have gone the extra mile in any other way in their work and care for animals.

Azzedine Downes, President and CEO, IFAW, said: “The Animal Action Awards are our long-standing commitment to honour and herald the animal heroes that make a big impact. I’m excited to see what inspiring entries we receive this year from around the world—from all different walks of life, doing incredible things.

“Hearing about those who are making a big difference to animals fills me with hope every time—I can’t wait to see this year’s entries.”

The awards will be held in London, October 17 at BAFTA, Piccadilly. The deadline for nominations is June 16, 5pm GMT.

To submit a nomination for your animal hero, enter here.

About IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare)

IFAW is a global non-profit helping animals and people thrive together. We are experts and everyday people, working across seas, oceans and in more than 40 countries around the world. We rescue, rehabilitate and release animals, and we restore and protect their natural habitats. The problems we’re up against are urgent and complicated. To solve them, we match fresh thinking with bold action. We partner with local communities, governments, non-governmental organisations and businesses. 
Together, we pioneer new and innovative ways to help all species flourish. 
See how at

MEDIA RELEASE, 13th June 2023

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