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17thJuly 2013

Labrador from Welwyn Wins Petplan’s ‘Real Pets’ Competition

Paddy, a Labrador cross from Welwyn Garden City has won a nationwide competition to feature alongside 41 other pets in a national television advert for the UK’s largest pet insurer Petplan. Paddy went head-to-head with 29,000 fame hungry fidos, felines and flopsys’ to win a starring role in the brand’s first ever ‘user-generated’ television advert.

Paddy is a two-year-old rescue dog originally from Ireland and owners, Alastair and Sarah Heath have had Paddy since he was about five months old. Paddy is a member of the local Welwyn Garden City “Dog Watch” scheme, a scheme similar to the neighbourhood watch scheme but for canines. Within this position Paddy recently helped a Community Support Officer track down a lost local dog, much to the delight of the owner.

Paddy’s owner Alastair explains the story behind the winning image: “On the day the Petplan Facebook competition was announced, it was one of the first sunny days of the year and hence a perfect photo opportunity to try out my new camera as well as my wife’s excellent dog training techniques. We bribed Paddy with a sausage out of shot to get this image!”

Paddy has found fame after the Heaths submitted his photograph to Petplan’s Facebook page in February. Paddy was then selected as one of the 100 finalists by an independent panel of judges before being picked as one of the winners by public vote on the Petplan UK Facebook page.

Isabella Von Mesterhazy, Petplan’s Head of Marketing, said “At Petplan we pride ourselves on being ‘pet people’ and as a nation of known animal lovers, what better way to celebrate this than give real pets the chance to star in our TV ad. This competition captured genuine emotion and sentiment amongst pet owners and the final ad will evoke the same feelings when viewed.”

Paddy’s image will feature alongside the voice of Ben Miller from comedy double act Armstrong and Miller in a one-off television advert to be aired nationwide on primetime TV on Wednesday 17th July. To see their starring moment, tune into the TV programme the Zoo on ITV between 8pm-9pm. But if you do miss your local pet star’s moment of fame, don’t worry, you can also watch the advert on the Petplan website: www.petplan.co.uk and the Petplan UK Facebook page: www.facebook.com/PetplanUK.

Notes to editors

Established over 35 years ago, Petplan is the UK's number one pet insurance provider in the world, offering comprehensive lifetime pet insurance cover for dogs, cats and rabbits. Petplan, is part of Allianz Insurance, one of the largest general insurers in the UK.