The geeky boy from Stanmore who is the UK's favourite vet

Marc Abraham operating on a bear in Ukraine

Marc Abraham operating on a bear in Ukraine

Marc Abraham can claim to be the country's highest-profile vet since James Herriot.
He is seen regularly dispensing animal advice on ITV's Daybreak and This Morning programmes, and BBC Breakfast, by millions of television viewers.

Now the self-proclaimed "geeky Jewish boy" has won the prestigious Vet of the Year award for his animal welfare campaign - to prevent disease in puppies. And, he says, it is all down to the inspiration provided by his refugee grandmother.

He said: "The cruel puppy farming industry in the UK is responsible for mass producing sick puppies in horrific conditions [which are] sold to unsuspecting members of the public from pet shops".

"So I started up PupAid five years ago after treating irresponsibly-bred puppies dying of parvovirus [a highly contagious disease that is fatal to young dogs if untreated]. It has gained the support of celebrities including Ricky Gervais and Elle MacPherson.

Mr Abraham, who attends Edgware Reform Synagogue, obtained 100,000 signatures for a petition demanding government action.

"It is the biggest animal welfare campaign on Twitter," he said. "A debate is due to be held in the House of Commons in June. Parliament has become my second home and that isn't something I thought would happen to a geeky Jewish boy from Stanmore."

Mr Abraham's efforts were rewarded this month with the Vet of the Year accolade given by Ceva - an animal welfare organisation.

He said his grandmother who escaped the Nazis on the Kindertransport, had "inspired my whole campaign. When I think about what she has achieved and overcome it keeps me going".

When not campaigning, Mr Abraham, 41, treats animals in danger round the world. He said: "I've rescued a baby bear in Ukraine, and operated on animals in China."

He started his career at the age of 19. "I grew up playing with caterpillars and moths," he said, adding: "I loved chess, too. I was a typical Jewish boy."

    Last updated: 6:45am, April 25 2014