St Elizabeth Hospice is calling on pet owners to share photos of their much-loved companions for the charity’s first ever, fundraising pet pageant.

Launching on 1st July, pet owners from across Ipswich and Suffolk are encouraged to enter photos of their dapper dogs, cute cats and more exotic furry and scaly friends into the virtual competition to help support St Elizabeth Hospice during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 “As an independent charity we rely on the generosity of the community and our fundraising events to ensure we can provide our much needed service and care provision to patients and their families,” said Joanne Rodger, Events and Challenges Manager at St Elizabeth Hospice.

“The coronavirus lockdown has restricted our ability to hold a regular schedule of popular events so we decided a virtual pet pageant would be the ideal way to raise funds whilst observing government COVID-19 guidelines, as well as enjoying the array of cute entries!”

Organised by the hospice, which improves life for people across Suffolk living with a progressive or life limiting illness, the pet pageant will feature a number of categories, including Best Smile, Best in Show, Golden Oldie and Extraordinary Exotics, meaning there are plenty of opportunities for pet owners to showcase their cute companion.

All winners will receive a £10 voucher for Jollyes – The Pet Superstore, as well as a Morrisons’ hamper for the winner of the all-important Best in Show award.

A panel of judges, featuring representatives from Christchurch Veterinary Surgery, Jollyes – The Pet Superstore and Morrisons will be tasked with judging the worthy winners who will be announced on 8 August.

Charlotte Morrison, Practice Manager at Christchurch Veterinary Surgery who are sponsoring the pageant, added: “Many of us have been troubled and found life difficult during this dreadful COVID-19 pandemic. We must bear a thought for those living with progressive and terminal illnesses. For these people, the lockdown would have created so many difficulties that it is hard for the rest of us to imagine.

“As a practice, we felt that by supporting the St Elizabeth Hospice Virtual Pet Pageant we can help those that need, more than ever before, the care that St Elizabeth Hospice provides.”

All funds raised by the £2 entry fees will go towards St Elizabeth Hospice’s #HereTogether campaign, an appeal launched by the hospice to counteract the financial impact of Coronavirus on the charity. After lockdown saw the closure of all its 31 retail shops and postponing of all fundraising activities which are vital income sources needed to support the provision of its end of life care and bereavement services.

Last year, the hospice cared for more than 3,000 Suffolk patients and their families at a cost of £10.5m, of which 75% was raised by the community through St Elizabeth Hospice’s retail shops and local fundraising activities which are now impossible due to social distancing and self-isolation.

St Elizabeth Hospice is independent Suffolk charity providing free services to improve life for people living with a progressive or life limiting illness. Centered on an individual’s needs, the hospice provides specialist support, whenever and wherever it is needed, whether at home, in the community or at the hospice.

Entry to St Elizabeth Hospice’s Pet Pageant can be made at

To donate towards St Elizabeth hospice’s #HereTogether campaign visit or to find out more call 01473 727776 or visit