Children at Storrington Primary penned animal-themed poems to celebrate the opening of a new veterinary hospital in the village this weekend.
They were invited to write about their beloved pets and favourite animals by owner of Arun Veterinary Group Matt Gittings.
On Tuesday the winners Florence DC, Sasha N and Holly P were presented with hampers containing a colouring book, chocolates, sweets and pet treats.
Together with the three pupils picked out for special commendation - Amelia G, Georgie F and Isaac P - they will also be VIP ambassadors at the opening of the new surgery and animal hospital at the Mill Stream Medical Centre, in the North Street Car Park.
They will receive a pre-launch tour ahead of the opening day, which will be held from 12noon until 4pm this Saturday (February 24)
The youngsters will also accompany the surgery team on the day to give tours to members of the public, following the official opening by Matt and MP Nick Herbert.
Matt said: “It was amazing to hear that the school received over 70 entries for the ‘pet poem’ competition and the standard of entries was phenomenal with the winners all of an exceptional standard, really demonstrating what great imaginations they have!
“We look forward to framing the winner’s poem ‘Pets at the Vets’ and placing it in our new Storrington Hospital very soon!”
The new practice, hospital and out of hours emergency care centre is opening in the medical centre building, which has been empty since the sudden closure of the GP practice there in 2014.
Horsham District Council initially bought the building in the hope it could be re-opened for local patients, but this did not come to fruition and last year Arun Veterinary Group revealed it had secured the lease for a multi-disciplinary animal hospital.
Matt added: “Formerly our ‘little sister’ practice, it’s exciting that hospital status will see our Storrington premises rise as the flagship for our three other established practices in Pulborough, Ashington and Westergate.
“All across West Sussex, pet owners will see the benefit of these facilities, while receiving the same premium service at affordable prices. Pending hospital accreditation will complement our existing comprehensive services as well as allow us to deliver high dependency care for our patients 24/7.”