Brave dog battling heart cancer 'washes and snuggles' abandoned kittens and rabbits

A brave rescue dog has continued to 'foster' and care for neglected animals despite battling heart cancer.

Border collie cross Gypsy nurtures and looks after abandoned kittens, rabbits and puppies taken in by owner Jo Yoli, from Sale, Greater Manchester.

The 11-year-old maternal dog welcomes every single animal, including those with special needs, broken bones and abusive histories, Manchester Evening News reports.

Despite all her medical issues, Gypsy's love hasn't faltered and she continues to take them under her wing and "wash and snuggle" them daily.

Vets Now announced Gypsy as their deserving runner-up for Pet of the Year awards - and dog walker Jo couldn't be prouder.

Jo, 40, 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.

Jo said: "She didn't want to live indoors and hadn't been around people, so she was terrified at first.

"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.

"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 was diagnosed with heart cancer last year, when a lump on her shoulder blade was investigated during a routine check-up.

A CT scan showed the sarcoma hadn't spread, but she had an unrelated cancer on her heart.

Surgery was carried out last December to remove part of Gypsy's shoulder blade and cut away the cancer.

She had radiotherapy and is now on anti-cancer medication to control the tumour on her heart.

Jo said: "She's come through it well, just a bit lame on her leg because of the shoulder surgery.

"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."