I thought honour was a wind-up!

Celia Fernie, who received a British Empire Medal in the New Year Honours for services to animal welfare.

Celia Fernie, who received a British Empire Medal in the New Year Honours for services to animal welfare.

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A KINGHORN woman who co-founded a greyhound rescue charity is among those to be recognised in Her Majesty the Queen’s New Year Honours.

Celia Fernie was awarded a British Empire Medal for services to animal welfare in the latest round of honours announced at the weekend.

Celia started up Greyhound Rescue Fife eight years ago with her husband Jimmy.

With a lot of hard work and dedication the charity has grown from strength to strength each year.

Celia (66), owned a shop in Burntisland at the time and took an unwanted male greyhound into her mongrel dog family.

She loved Tiggy so much, and was so sad when she lost him she went to kennels in Thornton looking for another greyhound.

While she was there Celia discovered the breed was difficult to rehome as people saw them as skinny, mean and in need of lots of walking and feeding - all of which she says is not true.

Celia explained: “That way of thinking is wrong and I thought ‘I have to address this, it’s not right’.

Perfect pets

“Greyhounds are so very special and I wanted to make people understand that.

“Really they are the perfect pets.”

Celia set up the first kennel outside Kinghorn, in response to the sheer number of unwanted greyhounds reaching the end of their racing careers, and the charity is now based at Baltree Country Centre, near Kinross.

Starting out with just two greyhounds in 2005, there are currently 44 in the organisation’s kennels and 630 have been rehomed.

News of Celia’s honour came as a huge surprise.

She told the Press: “It’s very special to me because some of our hard working volunteers put forward my name for this.

“I knew nothing about it and I thought it was a wind up.

“I got a letter from the Prime Minister’s office, which said not to say anything about it until December 29 and I accused my husband of winding me up.

“I’m delighted to have it.

“I never went into this to win a medal, but if it gives my dogs a bit of publicity then that’s great.”