Celebrities ‘give voice’ to nation’s unwanted pets

Bill Oddie is supporting National Unwanted Pet Week
Bill Oddie is supporting National Unwanted Pet Week

Celebrity animal lovers have thrown their weight behind a campaign to see more pets find their way into secure forever homes.

As part of National Unwanted Pet Week, which officially started on Monday, TV personalities including Martin Clunes, Bill Oddie, Peter Egan, Pauline McLynn and Pam Ayres have given their voice to specially created ‘lonely hearts’ videos, where animals appeal for a new family.

Each video – which you can view at www.nupw.org – has been tailor-made to reflect the very specific personality of the dog, cat or rabbit – capturing the campaign’s message that too many animals end up returned or rejected because potential owners don’t consider which is truly the ‘best fit’ pet for them.

National Unwanted Pet Week was initiated last year for the first time, by Wood Green, The Animals Charity.

A national organisation dedicated to improving the welfare of animals throughout the UK and beyond, Wood Green is determined to use its awareness week to find more homes, but also to stress the importance of responsible consideration before adopting a pet.

The charity’s research to coincide with National Unwanted Pet Week revealed that almost half of all pet owners say they DID NOT seek advice before taking on an animal.

“Our research shows that people in Britain still identify us as a nation of animal lovers, so it’s depressing to see the stark reality behind the number of dogs, cats and smaller animals which are awaiting a loving home at any one time,” said Sally Stevens, director of communications for Wood Green.

“What I would urge anyone interested in pet ownership to do, is to please do your research first.

“You wouldn’t purchase something like a smart phone without taking advice or seeking recommendation, so it seems incredible to me – and to the thousands of us who work in the animal charity sector – that potential pet owners would rely on blind faith alone and then be left surprised by the way their new animal fits into the home and lifestyle.”

Ms Stevens said the support of celebrities in raising this important message is greatly appreciated by staff at the charity.

“We are exceptionally grateful to the personalities who have helped us put together such individual ‘lonely hearts’ adverts.

“With the extra weight of their support, we hope to find some really wonderful homes for some of the thousands of animals which remain unwanted in the UK at any one time.”

Presenter Bill Oddie said: “National Unwanted Pet Week with Wood Green shines a light on some of the thousands of fantastic pets which need a home and I’m delighted to be able to support the campaign.

“All they need is love to make amazing additions to the family, so I urge anyone considering buying a new pet, to consider rehoming.”

National Unwanted Pet Week runs until Sunday, May 31.