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Celebrities make a difference

aCelebrities came out in force at this year’s Crufts in a bid to make a difference for dogs. Support for dog re-homing charities; action to help prevent canine obesity and raising awareness of how we can help dogs who might get lost or stolen, through the use of microchipping, were just some of the good causes that the celebrities helped to endorse.

James Caan, one of the four formidable Dragons from the BBC2’s Dragon’s Den showed his softer side when he came along to promote the Fit Fur Life treadmills for dogs, which he endorsed on the show due to their unique rehabilitative quality.

Coronation Street actress, Samia Smith, who plays Maria Sutherland, was also at Crufts with her on-screen canine companion, Ozzy to support Burgess Pet Care.

Fighting the corner for dogs who get lost or stolen from their owners was Roy Barraclough, who formerly played Coronation Street’s Alec Gilroy and Victoria Stilwell, animal behaviourist and presenter of the Channel 4 series It’s Me or the Dog. They have both been working with Dog Theft Action, a charity which helps to raise money for microchipping equipment and Victoria presented an award to Petlog, the microchipping service run by the Kennel Club, on the Sunday.
TV vet Marc Abrahams, was also on hand throughout Crufts to raise awareness of the importance of microchipping by supporting Petlog’s National Micro-chipping Month. While preventative action can be taken to prevent dogs from becoming lost or stolen other dogs are sadly abandoned by their owners.

Neil Morrissey, who officially opened the show on Thursday, made a plea for people to support the Pedigree Adoption Drive – a campaign that aims to raise half a million pounds that will be distributed by the Kennel Club Charitable Trust to dog rescue centres throughout the UK.
Making sure that dogs are cared for in the appropriate way throughout their lives is a key aim of the Kennel Club and Crufts presenters Matt Baker and Ben Fogle took part in the Cani-cross competition – a 2 km cross country competition that was held for the first time at this year’s Crufts.

The competition, the only organised run for dogs and their owners in UK, was launched by CaniX throughout the country with the aim of fighting obesity in humans and dogs alike.
Gromit, one half of Nick Park’s famous duo Wallace and Gromit, was also present at Crufts as the new face of the Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme, which supports responsible dog ownership.

Of course, just as humans can help to make a difference for dogs, dogs also enrich and change humans’ lives every day. Matt Baker will support the Pets as Therapy Juniors Awards on Sunday, for dogs who provide companionship and support to the sick, vulnerable or elderly.
Speaking about the importance of PAT Dogs Roy Barraclough, who cut the cake to celebrate Pets As Therapy's 25th anniversary, said: “PAT dogs are able to bring comfort and companionship and for some people these visits are the highlight of their week. You just have to see their faces light up when the dogs go on their visits to know that it does the residents good. You hear cries of ‘here’s my ray of sunshine, my reason for staying alive’.”