Battersea Dogs and Cats Home Gala honours the service dogs of WWII

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ROSEMIN ANDERSON reports from the red carpet…

Last Thursday saw a number of famous faces attend the annual Battersea Dogs and Cats Home’s Collars and Coats Gala, which this year commemorates the 100 year anniversary of WWII and the hard work and sacrifice of dogs that served.

The gala is in its sixth year and raises funds for the charity, which takes care of an average of 400 dogs and 190 cats at any given time. Given the home’s spectacular record of rescuing and rehoming 3.1 million dogs and cats since its founding in 1860, it is small wonder that celebrities flock to the event to show their support.

The glittering event saw four well-known Battersea Ambassadors on the red carpet, walking to dog-themed music (Hound Dog and How Much Is That Doggie In the Window? were two notable favourites). Paul O’Grady MBE, Amanda Holden, David Gandy and Dame Jacqueline Wilson OBE all made an appearance, clearly enjoying the night.

Paul O’Grady’s cheerful demeanour was obvious as he joked with the press about his dislike of getting socks for Christmas for another year, and letting it be known he is allergic to chocolate (a fun trivia fact). His dog Pattie is much loved, and the staff at Battersea joke that he should be sleeping at the establishment, given his long hours spent with the organisation.

Other celebrity attendees included Arlene Philips, sporting a fabulous beehive and professing a preference for drinking bubblegum vodka over taking part in I’m a Celebrity; Craig Revel Horwood, who says this year of Strictly is really the biggest and best; Cheska Hull, wearing a gorgeous blue gown; Vanessa Mae, looking slinky in a gold shimmering fitted dress; Laura Whitmore, in a cute flared dress; Dr. Christian, looking very dapper; and Jake Harvey, attending with his lovely wife on his arm and who is considering a pet dog himself.

Of course, the real show-stealers were the gorgeous pups lining the red carpet. Featuring currents residents of the Battersea Dogs and Cats home, these lovely dogs were a cute distraction for the celebrities attending the gala.

Also attending the event were several working police dogs alongside their handlers. One handsome pup, Oscar, works as a drug scout in HMP Belmarsh, and can detect a mere 1 gram of drugs in a space the size of a large car park.

The event continued well into the night, with an exclusive auction designed to help raise funds to support this important charity.