Best in show: Former Battersea dogs and their devoted owners gather for day of prize-winning pets

Puppy love was in the air as thousands of dog lovers and their four-legged friends turned up for the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home Annual Reunion and Fun Day yesterday.

Hundreds of proud owners entered their prizeworthy pets into a series of competitions including Best Battersea Dog, Waggiest Tail and Golden Oldie at the Battersea Park event.

With Best Battersea Dog getting dozens of entries, the judges really did have their pick of the litter.

But after some long deliberation, the lucky laureate crowned top dog was ex-Battersea Husky and competition newbie, Pan.

In two short years, Pan has settled into a new home, become a therapy dog – bringing joy to schools, hospitals and care homes – and is now the new poster pooch for the famous animal sanctuary.

Her owner, Georgina Barnard from outer London, explained: “It has been small steps with Pan but now she’s the perfect pet. I was nearly in tears when we won Best Battersea Dog – Pan so deserves it.”

The podiums were dominated by ex-Battersea success stories like Pan. Lolly, the 15 year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier, also benefitted from beginner’s luck and won the Golden Oldies competition, proving there’s life in the old dog yet.

Battersea dog show Lolly and Owner Kiss
GOLDEN OLDIE: Lolly gets a celebratory kiss from her delighted owner

Another Battersea alumnus who got gold was five year-old mongrel Marzipan who found his paw-fect match in deaf owner, Míro Civin, when he was just a pup.

Thanks to their wonderful connection, Marzipan has flourished under Míro’s care and he wowed the judges with his impressive tricks in the Obedience Elimination round.

Someone who had to bide his time for competition glory is Junior the Staffie, who came away more elated than ever as the winner of the Waggiest Tail.

His owner, Louise Turner from Clapham, had entered Junior into the category for the last two years running without success.

Battersea dog show Junior and Owner
JUNIOR THE CHAMP: Two-year-old staffie adds to his collection of rosettes

However, at just two-years-old and having recently won the title at a Tooting dog show, Junior has shown he has the tail-ent to be the waggiest dog about town.

The day was a huge success for the charity, as Battersea’s Chief Executive Claire Horton said: “The crowds came out in full force to show their support for our animals and we’ve had more visitors than ever before this year.”

This raises hopes that the event could have beaten last year’s fundraising record of £13,000.

If you would like to donate to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, please go to their website for more information.

Featured picture courtesy of Battersea Dogs and Cats home, with thanks

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