Voting is now open for equine charities, employees or volunteers to be considered for a Petplan and Association of Dogs and Cats Homes (ADCH) Animal Charity Award.

Insurance company Petplan and its equine sister brand Petplan Equine are conducting a nationwide search to find the UK’s top animal charities by calling upon animal lovers to recognise the tireless work of their favourite charity.

The number of equine neglect cases are increasing at an alarming rate placing intolerable pressure on equine welfare charities across the UK.

In 2012 equine welfare charities announced that Britain was on the verge of a “horse crisis”.

The escalation of the horse welfare issue can be seen in a staggering set of statistics. World Horse Welfare alone saw a 76% increase in the number of horses it rescued in 2013 compared to 2012 and so far this year Blue Cross has taken in 86 welfare cases, compared to just 15 two years earlier.

Charlotte Collyer from Petplan Equine said: “The aim of the Petplan and ADCH Animal Charity Awards is to highlight the tremendous work done by these organisations and by nominating one of them horse lovers can help to raise public awareness of the plight of thousands of horses and ponies across the UK.”

Jenna Martyn, rehoming centre manager at the Blue Cross in Burford, won last year’s Animal Charity Employee of the Year Award.

She said: “The awards are a fantastic way of highlighting to the public the work we do as a team to give these horses and ponies a brighter future — it was very humbling to receive an award for doing something I love.”

Voting is open now until 13 February 2015. To nominate a charity, team or individual to be recognised for their outstanding contribution to equine welfare click here.