As the Olympic flame moved through the streets of London on July 23rd its light illuminated not only the tradition of international competition, but also the need to heed the option of adoption as it passed by Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.
A multi-pet parent to three Staffordshire Bull Terriers and two French Bulldogs, England football striker Michael Owen held the torch aloft in one hand and a leash in the other as he took his part of the journey with Rory, a three to five year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier who is waiting for his own personal moment of glory– the day he finds a forever home.
Michael Owen and Rory were cheered on by more than 50 Fidos from Battersea, who– along with the animal welfare organization’s handlers– formed a dog Guard of Honour as they ran past.
The A-list athlete stated: “It has been a real honour to visit Battersea and carry the flame past such a fantastic doggy Guard of Honour with the backdrop of Battersea Power Station. I’m a huge fan of Staffies so was thrilled to meet Rory and he seemed to really enjoy helping me carry the Torch. The atmosphere was brilliant and the dogs behaved so well.”
Battersea Chief Executive Claire Horton added: “Battersea is incredibly honoured to have welcomed the Olympic Torch here today, just days before the Games get under way. We are one of the country’s iconic landmarks and we’re thrilled to be part of the whole Games experience.
“It was so special to welcome Michael here as he is a great friend of the Home. To see him run with the flame and Rory the Staffie, past so many of our homeless dogs, made the day complete. It was wonderful to be able to involve our dogs and give them a taste of the fantastic Olympic spirit that’s exciting the nation.”
After his torch-bearing duty was complete, Michael Owen returned to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home for a tour of the facilities, which included visits with some of the 240 dogs who are currently up for adoption at the London center.
For more information regarding Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, and to find out about the charity’s ‘Staffies. They’re softer than you think’ campaign, which is championed by the organization’s first celebrity ambassador, model David Gandy:
- visit www.battersea.org.uk
Photo Credit: Clint Images/Battersea