It is a well-known fact that the Duchess of Cornwall is a keen animal lover. On Wednesday, she visited Battersea Dogs And Cats Home to officially open the new multi-million dollar Veterinary Hospital and Centre of Excellence.
It’s Camilla’s third visit to the animal shelter, she last visited in 2012. Her first visit to the charity was in 2010. She has previously adopted two Jack Russell Terriers from the charity, Beth and Bluebell.
Today, Her Royal Highness was welcomed by a Dog Guard of Honour before receiving a tour of the new facilities by Battersea’s Ambassador, Paul O’Grady, and its Chief Executive, Claire Horton. The charity’s three centres located in South West London, Old Windsor, Berkshire and Brands Hatch focus on caring for 5,000 dogs and over 3,000 cats. This new veterinary hospital has been established to serve this growing population of animals in need of care.
Battersea helps reunite lost animals with their families or cares for them until they find new forever homes. It also has an outreach program where shelter animals pay visits to Chelsea pensioners at their homes.
During her visit, the Duchess met with staff, volunteers and some of the home’s four-legged residences. One of whom was Winston, a charming eight-year-old British bulldog. He was particularly excited to meet the Duchess, breaching royal protocol by putting his head up her skirt. Although Camilla didn’t seem to mind his antics.
She joked she’d take some of the dogs home with her after meeting such delightful dogs like Nancy the Terrier, Peanut the Pug and Mickey the German Pointer. Camilla said that Mickey had ‘a very charming face’.
The royal admitted that although she’d love to take home another dog, she didn’t know how well her two dogs would handle having a new canine friend: ‘I am literally having to hold myself back and stop popping one in my bag, they are all so gorgeous. But I think three would be a little bit too much and I’m not sure my two girls would be that accepting of a stranger.’
During her closing remarks, Camilla encouraged everyone present to adopt a dog. She said: ‘I just want to congratulate everybody on the wonderful job they are doing here, it’s known all over the world.’