11-year-old Border collie cross Gypsy has nurtured scores of other cats and dogs taken in by owner Jo Yoli, from Sale, Greater Manchester.

And the fact she’s continued doing it through her health scare has seen her named a runner-up in emergency vets, Vets Now’s, first Pet of the Year awards.

Dog walker Jo adopted Gypsy from an animal charity 10 years ago after she’d been living semi-wild with a pack of other dogs on a farm.

An image of a dog laying down in a field
Gypsy was adopted from an animal charity 10 years ago. ©Vets Now

“She didn’t want to live indoors and hadn’t been around people, so she was terrified at first,” said Jo, 40, who also works at an animal sanctuary.

“But she very quickly bonded with me and soon showed she is such a gentle soul who just loves everybody.

“I fostered before having Gypsy and once she had settled in, I started doing it again. I tend to take dogs with special needs, often with broken bones or that have been abused, plus lots of new-born orphan kittens who need hand-rearing.

An image of a dog with puppies playing on its stomach
Gypsy enjoys playing and snuggling with puppies and kittens. ©Vets Now

“Gypsy welcomes all of them, especially the hand-rears. She takes them under her wing and toilets, washes and snuggles them. It’s like a comfort blanket for them, having some warm fur to curl up in.

“I need to feed them every two hours and she always gets up and watches on. If she could feed them herself then she would do.

“When I have foster rabbits, she’ll sit with them in the garden and is just so gentle.”

Gypsy’s cancer diagnosis was made late last year when a lump on her shoulder blade was investigated during a routine check-up. A subsequent CT scan showed the sarcoma hadn’t spread, but she had an unrelated cancer on her heart.

Rather than an amputation, surgery was carried out last December to remove part of Gypsy’s shoulder blade and cut away the cancer. She had radiotherapy after the operation and is now on anti-cancer medication to control the tumour on her heart.

Despite all her medical issues, Gypsy’s foster love hasn’t faltered.

An image of a dog touching noses with a small kitten
Despite all her medical issues, Gypsy’s foster love hasn’t faltered. ©Vets Now

“She’s come through it well, just a bit lame on her leg because of the shoulder surgery,” said Jo.

“As soon as she was back, she was right into looking after the little ones again.

“It’s kitten season and I have already had ones for her to nurture, with plenty more on the way.

“I was playing a video of a friend’s foster kitten the other day and she was at the screen, wondering why it wasn’t there.

“Caring for other animals is just in her and I’m so proud she got the Vets Now Pet of the Year award.”

Dave Leicester, who is responsible for a team of experienced vets at the Video Vets Now service, said: “After a tumultuous two years, we wanted to celebrate the important role pets have played for so many families and individuals across the UK.

“It’s a chance to shine a light on pets who have overcome injuries, or other challenges, and provided their owners with overwhelming comfort and support.”

Read more about our Pet of the Year winner, support dog Matilda and our runner-up, Theo the cat who made an incredible recovery.