The RSPCA rehomes thousands of dogs every year. Some are rehomed within days of arriving in our centres while others can take months – sometimes even years – to find the right home. But, as a charity who puts the welfare of animals before anything else, we never give up on the dogs who need us. And we will do everything we can to find them a home for life.
We rescue dogs from some of the most unimaginable cruelty and heartbreaking neglect. After weeks and months of care and rehabilitation, it’s only right that they find the paw-fect home to call their own. And sometimes, through no fault of their own, it takes a little extra effort to find them the right fit.
So this summer, in an effort to rehome some pooches who have been in our care the longest, we invited our four-legged friends down to London for a day out – and an exciting photoshoot.
Heading up town
Our wonderful centre and branch staff travelled from all over the country to bring dogs who they felt deserved a bit of time in the spotlight. We had Bandit and George from South Godstone Animal Centre, in Surrey; Roxy from Danaher Animal Home, in Essex; Diamond from RSPCA York, in Yorkshire; Marvin and Trixie from RSPCA Southport, Ormskirk & district branch, in Wales; and Freddie and Luna from RSPCA Chesterfield & North Derbyshire branch, in Derbyshire. As well as long journeys, the dogs also had their first opportunity to experience public transport and the buzz of busy London life – all taking it in their stride (however long or short that be…!)
We all congregated at the beautiful (and dog-friendly) Egerton House Hotel – part of The Red Carnation Hotel Collection – in west London, which was hosting us for the day. And incredibly talented photographer Joseph Sinclair kindly donated his time to capture our gorgeous dogs from the best angle.
Joseph said: “As an animal lover, I’ve been a supporter of the RSPCA for many years and wanted to volunteer my time to help out these dogs who need a second chance in life and are looking for a forever home.
“Dogs are so much fun to work with and it’s great to capture their individual characters and pamper them with some photoshoot fun.”
We spent the morning in the five-star hotel’s grand drawing room treating the dogs to some relaxation and pampering.
Enjoying the spotlight
Beautiful Bandit (pictured left) was up first and he made himself at home right away, lounging on the sofa and soaking up the attention. He smiled for the camera and enjoyed a bit of grooming and pampering. Next up, it was George’s go. Although a little over-excited at first, it didn’t take long to find the way to grab his attention – a bag of yummy dog treats! He soon got into the swing of it, winning over all of the staff in the process!
Diamond (pictured right) was a real gem. After excitably saying ‘hello’ to everyone in the lobby – from staff to hotel guests to the other dogs – she was soon ready for her moment to shine and took it all very much in her (quite large!) stride.
Before we knew it, the morning had flown by and it was time for afternoon tea – at least, it was for little Roxy! Doggy afternoon tea that is! The little crossbreed was treated to a three-tiered cake stand of doggy biscuits and treats, and the super-star worked the camera like an absolute pro.
The day had flown by and Joseph – a natural at photographing dogs – had already captured a selection of superb photos of the dogs, not only showing off their beautiful looks but also giving a glimpse into their cheeky and unique characters.
The suite life
The hotel staff then moved us up to the penthouse – a stunning, golden suite on the top floor of the red-brick west London hideaway. Them seemed like fitting surroundings for our next guest, the regal mastiff Marvin. He calmly sat in the lift and waited patiently to arrive at the top floor – as if it was part of his daily routine, before sitting beautifully on the sofa posing for the camera. His little friend, excitable and energetic Trixie (pictured left) wasn’t quite as prepared for behaving as the gentle giant – all she wanted was to play! So play we did! She bounced around the room, sniffing and exploring, play bowing and jumping on the soft, luxurious upholstery. Joseph snapped away while she played with her toys and handlers, getting the paw-fect shot of her cheeky character!
For Freddie, that all sounded like far too much effort. He trotted into the hotel as if he was coming home (and we thought, for a while, that he may be leaving in one of the receptionist’s handbags!) – he was definitely comfortable in his high-end surroundings. He sat perfectly well-behaved on his ‘VIP dog’ bed, even managing an adorable head tilt for the camera which flashed away. With his job done, curling up for a well-deserved nap on his handler’s lap, it was time for Luna to soak up the spotlight. She smiled and posed while Joseph snapped away working his magic.
By the end of the day, the dogs were exhausted, as were we, but the photos were beautiful. A huge thank you to all of the staff at The Egerton House Hotel who could not have been more helpful or accommodating, and to Joseph who was so much fun to work with.
If it helps us find just one of these amazing dogs a new home, then it’s all been worthwhile!
- Amy Ockelford – RSPCA Press Officer
Could you give one of these dogs their fur-ever home?
We’re pleased to say some of the dogs have already been rehomed but we still have many more, each with a unique personality to match. Please take a look at our find a pet pages to look for your perfect companion.