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Rescue dogs show agility a thing or two

The UK’s five largest animal welfare charities are joining together for the fourth year running to present an agility team at Crufts.

Battersea Dogs’ Home, The Blue Cross, National Canine Defence League, RSPCA and Wood Green Animal Shelters are working together to promote rescue dogs and show that they can rival any pedigree pet when it comes to enthusiasm and agility in the ring. Also attending will be an invitation team from the National Animal Welfare Trust.

As in previous years, the team line-up features dogs who have triumphed over the most difficult of circumstances to become stars in their own right.

The stars include down to earth mutt, Maisy, who was an unwanted puppy and kept in a shed for the first eight weeks of her life. Luckily she was brought into NCDL Merseyside where she was adopted by Canine Carer, Michelle Radcliffe. Maisy is still quite frightened of men so performing at Crufts will be a real achievement for her but she really has come a long way.

Maisy is joined on the course by no less than 35 furry friend all eager to prove their lightening paw speed. They include Monty - the RSPCA Dog of the Year, Storm - a three year old working sheepdog rehomed from the NCDL who loves to ‘sing’ to the news and Rayne - a deaf dog from Battersea Dogs Home who, amazingly, can do agility.

Shauna Lowry, celebrity dog love and star of animal TV series Animal Hospital says: “It’s incredible that so many of these dogs should display such enthusiasm and confidence considering that so many of them have had such an unfortunate start in life. Thanks to the charities’ care and the love and patience of their new owners they are really able to start living, and what better way to show how happy they are than a spin round the agility course? By taking part in this event they are showing that they can compete with the best of the rest and are not held back by their pasts. Come and cheer them on!”

The displays take place in the Special Events Ring at 3.25pm on Saturday 8th March and 1.30pm on Sunday 9th March. It is hoped that they will provide an entertaining example of what these dogs can achieve through their own perseverance and that of their handlers.

Every charity involved has taken time and energy to make sure that these dogs, and thousands of others like them, find loving homes for life.

This is not a competitive exercise - each team consists of one dog from each charity, emphasising that rescue dogs really do love you more.