An animal lover from Devon has won an RSPCA medal for supporting the work of the charity for more than three decades.

Carole Bowles from Plympton was awarded the Queen Victoria bronze medal at the RSPCA Honours ceremony.

Carole founded the Woodside Animal Welfare Trust 40 years ago and has been working closely with the local RSPCA branch for the past three decades.

She and her team have taken in countless animals while they await rehoming. As well as animal care Carole has been at the forefront of a scheme which collaborated with the RSPCA in a subsidised spaying and neutering scheme which has treated 778 animals from homes in the most deprived areas of Plymouth.

In 2000 her Carole was awarded an MBE for her services to animals and she has continued to work tirelessly for animal welfare.

Maggie Baker, RSPCA trustee, said: “Carole is a committed volunteer with the Plymouth and Southwest Devon branch and also set up a local animal centre independently of the RSPCA, this has been an invaluable resource to animals in the area.”

The Queen Victoria bronze medal is presented to members of the Society in recognition of the long and meritorious service to the RSPCA, or for service of shorter duration but of outstanding merit.

Channel 5 newsreader and former GMTV presenter, Emma Crosby, who hosted The Honours, said: “Carole has provided crucial support for the work of the RSPCA for many years and her contribution to animal care in the area has been invaluable.

“This award is in recognition of all her hard, distinguished work in animal welfare over the years and her dedication to animals is highly commendable. Countless animals have benefited from Carole’s life work and without her help the RSPCA would not be able to help as many animals as we do.”

Carole, who was was unable to attend the ceremony, said: “I have been proud to have worked closely the local branch of the RSPCA over the last 35 years and in particular in coalition with them and my charity the Woodside Animal Welfare Trust carrying out a subsidised neuter scheme.

“My work involved close cooperation with the local branch assisting in the neuter and rehomîng of unwanted animals in this area .

“As a life member of the RSPCA I am very honoured to receive this award.”

The RSPCA has been presenting awards for about 150 years. This year The Honours includes awards for special merit and ability amongst the charity’s inspectors; humanitarian awards for those who have made an outstanding contribution in the field of animal welfare; and awards for special investigations