SUPERMAN, Spiderman and Wonder Woman are old news; now is the time to make way for Danger Dog, Hero Hamster and the Tremendous Tabby.

With children across the UK now at home because of school closures as part of the national lockdown, Oxfordshire-based pet charity Blue Cross is encouraging youngsters aged 7-11 to take part in a fun and light-hearted competition called Britain’s Most Heroic Tails.

The competition is in recognition of the Burford charity’s iconic Blue Cross Medal award, which honours heroic and extraordinary pets – from hamsters to horses and everything in-between.

To take part, children are being asked to design a movie poster featuring their pet as a superhero.

No pet? No problem! Pupils who don’t own a pet can draw their imaginary ‘super pet’ – as exotic as they like –and explain what their powers would be.

A spokeswoman said: “We’re calling for all Key Stage 2 animal lovers and aspiring artists to enter a new creative competition to design a movie poster all about their favourite ‘su-purr’ hero to support this year’s Blue Cross Medal award.”

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This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Blue Cross Medal first being awarded. The honour celebrates everyday pets who have changed or saved lives, with one extra special pet being awarded the winning medal each year.

Oxford Mail:

The idea of the medal was conceived in 1917 during the First World War, and was initially given to people who helped rescue animals. The first time it was presented to an animal specifically was in 1940, to a dog called La Cloche, for saving his owner from drowning – after a German torpedo hit their ship.

Last year’s Blue Cross Medal winner was self-taught assistance dog, Lily-Rose – an eight-year-old papillon-cross who saved her owner from choking, and also alerted the owner when her mother collapsed after a heart attack.

Other outstanding winners have included a 19-year-old cat called Jim who saved the lives of his family from a fire, a Labrador called Daisy who was trained to detect cancer, a blood-donating Staffordshire bull terrier called Romeo, and a young mastiff called Lemmy, who brought his young owner back from depression.

The spokeswoman added: “To celebrate this major milestone, we are asking pupils in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 to draw their favourite pet on the front of an A4 sized superhero-themed movie poster – alongside 150-200 words saying why their pet – or an imaginary pet – is such a champion.

Oxford Mail:

Beaver Boy by Robbie Edwards, from North Oxford

Five winning movie posters will be recreated by professional designers and showcased at an exhibition in London called Pet Heroes Through the Ages – which they will be invited to attend.

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The spokeswoman added: “Blue Cross is a charity that has been helping sick, injured, abandoned and homeless pets since 1897. Pets help us in so many ways and they depend entirely on us. That’s why at Blue Cross we believe in helping pets because pets help us.

“We help thousands of pets in need every month, providing veterinary care, expert behaviour help and find them loving happy homes, as well as advice and education for current or future owners and pet bereavement support.

“We develop lifelong relationships with pets and owners, providing quality care that is accessible and non-judgemental. With your support we can give back to more pets in need.”

  • Send to or post to Blue Cross Competition, The PHA Group, 115-117 Wardour Street, London, W1F 0UN by May 15
  • Also send your entries to us, for a chance to be featured in the newspaper