Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, one of the nation’s leading animal welfare charities and former home of some of politics’ brightest stars Larry, Palmerston and Gladstone, has revealed that they are standing by ready to help our new Prime Minister in his search for a canine companion. The charity is also prepared to act as negotiator between any new four-legged resident at Number 10 and the current Chief Mouser, Larry.
If the Prime Minister were to adopt a dog, there would be many factors to consider when choosing the right pet for Number 10, including whether or not they could live with cats. It’s no secret that tensions can sometimes run high between Downing Street’s current four-legged residents, so any dog looking to fill the new role of Prime Minister’s Best Friend, must have previous experience with cats.
Battersea currently has several potential ‘canine-didates’ for the new role including Puppy, the aptly-named middle-aged Jack Russell Terrier, who is still a big kid at heart and loves nothing more than meeting new people and showing off to his friends, or young dude Hank who is only eleven months old but already knows how to hold a room and loves to be the centre of attention. The young mongrel loves the sound of his own voice and will chat to anyone, surely a key trait for any aspiring politician.
Many people believe that dogs look like their owners, and there’s currently a laidback dog with a scruffy head of hair at Battersea’s London centre that may resemble a certain new leader. Fair-haired Barney is a seven-year-old Shih Tzu whose charming personality and stubborn streak would make him a great sidekick for everything from tough negotiations to high society engagements.
It has often been said that it can get lonely at the top, and a young ball of energy like Popcorn the Lurcher is guaranteed to keep the PM’s spirits high throughout the ups and downs that come with the job. Popcorn is always up for a walk so if Number 10 gets a tad stuffy, the young pup will be ready to go for a calming stroll around Whitehall, and as a people-pleaser, he’s sure to greet everyone Mr Johnson meets while out and about.
Of course, no search would be complete without an underdog, so step forward Obi. The legendary Mongrel has been down on his luck in the past but he’s now ready for a second chance and a fresh start where he will make a big impact on everyone he meets. The gentle giant can sometimes lack social graces and etiquette so he’s looking for an owner who will forgive him when he puts his foot in it and guide him towards being a well-rounded guy.
Battersea has a long history of rehoming dogs and cats to Downing Street and were helping political pooches as long ago as 1920 when David Lloyd George adopted a St Bernard named Riffel from Switzerland. When Riffel came to the UK, he was quarantined at Battersea’s Hackbridge centre. Since then, the focus has been feline, most notably with the arrival of the now world-famous Larry moving into Number 10 in 2011. Fur flew when Larry was joined by fellow former Battersea cat, Palmerston, who took up a crucial position in the Foreign Office following years of undercover work on the streets of London. Last but not least, was Gladstone, who joined the Treasury in the summer of 2016.
Battersea’s Head of Operations, Rob Young, said: “Battersea has a great relationship with Downing Street when it comes to rehoming animals to Britain’s most famous street and it goes without saying that we would be more than happy to help our new Prime Minister find a pet.
“If we are asked to help Mr Johnson adopt a new companion, our priority will of course be to look for a dog that is comfortable living in a busy environment and could happily live alongside Chief Mouser Larry, who we rehomed to the political corridors of power almost a decade ago.”
To find out more about Battersea’s dogs visit www.battersea.org.uk/dogs.