Doggie ‘Guard of Honour’ Remembers Brave Service Dogs for WW1 Centenary yesterday was The annual charity spectacular that is the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home’s Collars & Coats Gala Ball once again wowed as a host of big-star names from the world of film, TV, music, and fashion took to the glittering red carpet to show their support to the world-famous rescue.
“This year’s event was hosted by Battersea Ambassadors Amanda Holden, Paul O’Grady MBE, supermodel David Gandy and Dame Jacqueline Wilson OBE and saw in attendance such renowned names as Lady Patsy Puttnum, Jake Humphrey, Craig Revel-Horwood, Sarah Parish, Angela Griffin, Amanda Burton, Arlene Phillips, Cheska Hull, Laura Whitmore, Rosie Marcel, Dr Christian Jessen, Carley Stenson, Brian Friedman and Nicky Clarke. An electrifying evening of entertainment was in store for guests with sensational strings, glitter-ball ballroom, powerhouse vocals and golden era classics from internationally renowned artists Vanessa-Mae, Heather Small, and Dave Arch and the Strictly Come Dancing Band all on the bill.” – Battersea Dogs & Cats Home
This year’s event was particularly poignant as celebrities gathered to remember the enormous sacrifice, tenacity and loyalty of the brave service dogs during World War One, which this year is marking its centenary anniversary. Former residents who have gone on to working roles with the police, Army, RAF, and Border Force took part in dramatic battlefield re-enactments showing how Battersea dogs have served their country from 1914 right up to the present day.
The Collars & Coats Gala Ball, now in its sixth year, has become a highlight of the autumn social calendar, and is consistently regarded as one of the most innovative and eagerly anticipated charity events. This year’s stellar star line-up saw much-loved entertainers, acting greats, and global fashion icons treading the red carpet, which boasts the world-unique Battersea ‘Doggie Guard of Honour’ comprising many of the Home’s 400 rescued canine residents.
“Topping the magical stage line-up was international superstar violinist Vanessa-Mae, who delivers true wow factor with her virtuosity. Adding a spectacular touch of soul to the evening was Heather Small, solo artist and lead singer of M People who achieved worldwide success with hits such as ‘Moving On Up’, ‘One Night In Heaven’ and ‘Search For The Hero’ making her one of the seminal British voices of the 1990s. The evening also featured the truly unforgettable experience of Dave Arch and the Strictly Come Dancing Band, currently delighting audiences on the popular BBC show, serenading the guests.” – Battersea Dogs & Cats Home
The Collars & Coats Gala Ball also gave its high profile guests and celebrities the opportunity to partake in an exclusive auction which featured an array of money can’t buy experiences.
“We’re thrilled to be joined by so many friends and supporters, showing their support to raise vital funds for Battersea’s dogs and cats in this annual extravaganza. Every year this spectacular event just gets better and better. The Collars & Coats Gala Ball is a truly unique event that’s all about celebrating our animals and raising money to care for the 9,000 dogs and cats that come through our gates, abandoned and bewildered every year. We’re also celebrating the brave dogs that have overcome adversity to join our forces on the frontline. In this, the centenary year of World War One Battersea dogs are standing side by side with some of the country’s top service dogs, every one of them a hero.” – Claire Horton, Battersea’s Chief Executive
It costs over £18m to run Battersea each year, and with no government funding, the Collars & Coats Gala Ball is all about helping to increase awareness of the important work the charity does each and every day of the year to offer a second chance in life to thousands of animals. Last year nearly 9,000 dogs and cats needed Battersea’s care and attention to help find them the best possible new homes