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17thJuly 2013

Leeds Cross Breed Dog Wins Petplan’s Real Pets TV Contest

Charlie, a cross breed from Leeds has won a nationwide competition to feature alongside 41 other pets in a national television advert for the UK’s largest pet insurer, Petplan. Charlie 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.

Animal lover and veterinary nurse, Sian Stanton, took Charlie home when he was three months old. Six years on she describes him as part of the family. He is real Heinz 57 - part Border Collie, part Staffordshire Terrier and part Labrador. Charlie has recently had surgery for serious recurring knee problems but is recovering nicely. Part of his treatment is hydrotherapy which he really enjoys as it encompasses three of his loves - the water, meeting new people and lots of attention.

Loyal Charlie has found fame after Sian submitted his photograph to Petplan’s Facebook page in February. Charlie 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.

Talking of the winning picture, Sian said: “The photo was taken by a friend who is an amateur wildlife photographer. We were on holiday in Wiltshire.”

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.”

Charlie’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.