Dame Cheryl Gillan’s canine companion today – Gooseberry, a Dachshund who has just found a new ‘forever home’ – has won third place in the Westminster Dog of the Year. The event, organised by Dogs Trust, took place this morning at the Victoria Tower Gardens at Westminster.
Gooseberry won the highest place of the Dogs Trust rescue dogs who were entered in this event, which has been attracting national press coverage this week.
Dame Cheryl said, “ Gooseberry is going home with her forever owner with a great prize. She was smuggled from Hungary and nearly died. Of her nine puppy companions being smuggled, five were dead and she had a nail in her stomach. She went for fostering during her recovery and her foster mum adopted her. It’s a good news story but there are lots of dogs still needing their forever homes.”
The theme of the contest this year was “firework awareness” and the MPs taking part were asked for their ideas about raising awareness. Dame Cheryl – with Gooseberry’s support – told the judges that she hopes everyone will think about all animals who could be frightened, including C-A-T-s (!) before setting off fireworks.
“A lot of animals get very distressed by the noise and flashes of fireworks. Owners can prepare ahead when they know there could be firework parties, such on Guy Fawkes Night or at New Year and other festivals, but they can’t make the necessary arrangements if they don’t know when something is happening,” said Cheryl. “It’s kind to animal neighbours as well as human ones if you let people know there will be fireworks.”