As famous as the iconic Power Station and eminent park, Battersea dogs and cats home is synonymous with southwest London, having been located in the area for over 140 years. Originally called The Temporary Home for Lost and Starving Dogs, the home was founded by Mary Tealby and began accepting cats in 1883.
Battersea now operates in three locations (Battersea, Old Windsor and Brands Hatch). The establishment has steadily grown in recognition thanks to Royal patrons and celebrity supporters. Numerous campaigns throughout the year boost the trust not only through donations, but via projects to craft toys and blankets. In May there was an appeal to knit dog blankets and make kitty cushions as this is a time when Battersea Dogs & Cats home is inundated with abandoned pregnant cats. Other campaigns have included crafting knitted catnip mice as well as donating peanut butter or Marmite for afternoon dog treats .
The Battersea Collars & Coats Gala Ball, now in its 4th year, attracts global designers including Vivienne Westwood, Stella McCartney, Faberge and Julien Macdonald. The evening acts as a fundraiser and promotes the work Battersea does. The home aims never to turn away a dog or cat. They reunite lost dogs and cats with their owners, rehome abandoned or stray animals and provide shelter and veterinary care.
Having moved house recently I was in a position where I could rehome a cat which I had wanted to do for aaaages. My sister had done the same thing a year earlier and it seemed a much better way of owning a pet than pet shops or breeders. The animals are neutered, micro-chipped and assessed for any health problems. As part of a rehoming pack, you also receive pet food for a week, a collar ID tag and a month’s pet insurance. The registration process is duly stringent and in some cases staff may visit your home or need to meet all members of the household prior to rehoming a dog or cat. I went to the Brands Hatch centre and brought ‘Mittens’ home last weekend…she in turn has adopted my pillow as her preferred sleeping area.
Battersea Brands Hatch Centre Manager Richard King explains how the festive period impacts on the Home: “This Christmas Battersea Dogs & Cats Home expects to care for 450 dogs and 150 cats across our three sites. As the Home is open every day of the year, animals may arrive on Christmas Day. Last Christmas the three centres received 96 dogs and 52 cats between 24 December and 1 January, including nine dogs who arrived on Christmas Day.
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a big lunch, so Battersea is appealing to supporters to donate special Christmas meals for all the dogs and cats. Each meal will include some tasty meaty treats, and the charity is hoping to receive enough lunches to give one to each dog and cat on Christmas Day. Battersea expects to care for 450 dogs and 150 cats over Christmas at its three centres, so that’s a lot of meals! If you would like to donate a Christmas lunch to a dog or cat please visit www.battersea.org.uk/christmas, where for £5 you can make their day extra special. You can also donate a gift or treat for an animal to enjoy on Christmas Day.
For other ways to help, please visit the website page.
David Gandy has been announced as the first ever ambassador for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.
In news that will probably make you swoon/sigh/melt, David Gandy, the man for whom the words chisel-jawed and hunk seem invented for, has been named Ambassador for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, the charity that takes poor little abandoned animals and gives them new homes. It’s a match made in girls-who-love-animals heaven.
Gandy, the British model who is probably best known for those Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue fragrance ads in which he lounges around in a boat looking unfeasibly sexy, also happens to be a total animal lover and has been a regular at Battersea ever since he was given the gift of sponsoring a kennel at the home, so he was more than happy to take on the role:
It’s a real honour to be invited to be Battersea’s first ambassador. The work they do to find homes for thousands of dogs and cats every year is amazing. I hope my involvement will make people think of choosing a rescue dog or cat from Battersea for their next pet.
Well, hey, if a visit to Battersea means the chance of bumping into you Dave, then I think they just might.
Seriously, though, the Home does a lot of really great work, in particular in tackling the problem of responsible pet ownership. Out of the 5,000 dogs that the charity took in last year, more than 1,800 of them were Staffordshire Bull Terriers, some of them trained to be aggressive by irresponsible owners. Battersea launched a campaign last year is calling for a review of the existing dog laws to help reduce the UK’s stray and dangerous dog problem.
And now they’ve got a new ally in the form of mega hottie David:
Battersea is determined to help tackle the problem of the strays on our streets and start chipping away at people’s attitudes towards more responsible pet ownership and breeds such as Staffies and I hope to help support them as much as I can.
Isn’t that adorable? Watch the View the David Gandy and Battersea video below or visit the Battersea website.
Although the phrase is a bit of a cliché, the fashion industry is having a ‘microtrend’ moment. Back in October, Hermès unveiled their a limited edition Sari collection, with piece priced between £4,000 – £5,000 a pop (wow..) – a move designed to celebrate the opening of their new Mumbai flagship.
Never one to be outdone, Karl Lagerfeld also embraced the Asian trend earlier this month, staging a decadent Maharaja-themed couture show to showcase his ‘Paris-Bombay’ collection. The Daily Mail reported shortly afterwards that Essex’s finest David Gandy was planning to relocate to the Indian capital to open up a hotel.
Left to right: A sari from the Hermes collection; Chanel 'Paris-Bombay' collection; David Gandy
In the name of research, I had a quick scan of the high street to see if the microtrend was slowly surfacing – and surely enough it was all there. With my magpie instinct, one of the brands that stuck out the most for me was the Marianne Cotterill collection at Matches:
These pretty pieces play on the traditional Indian idea of a hath panja – jewellery which runs along the back of the hand from the wrist to the wedding finger. I remember my granny had an impressive set, in the gaudiest yellow gold with green inlaid enamel. Granted, they were spectacular but far too loud to wear day-to-day. What Cotterill’s collection does rather cleverly is update the classic design with a sprinkling of semi-precious stones and charms. Beautiful don’t you think?
Have you spotted any pieces that are working the Indian microtrend? If so, let us know @Style_thensome