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Battersea raises £4,000 at annual Santa Paws event

Pooches welcomed the beginning of the festive season with a special visit to Santa’s grotto on Saturday.

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home hosted its annual Santa Paws event at the Old Windsor site in Priest Hill, raising £4,000 for the charity.

“About 750 people came along to the event with their dogs to take photographs with Santa,” said Janet Brewer, regional community fundraiser for Battersea Old Windsor.

Visitors also took part in the tombola which raised £450 while the raffle collected £500 for the charity.

This year Battersea introduced a Christmas market run entirely by staff and ex-staff members alongside volunteers selling jewellery, textiles, clothes and festive cards.

Also new to Santa Paws event was a popular selfie grotto where guests could take pictures with their pets.

“There was a queue outside all day,” said Janet. “It proved to be particularly popular.”

“Inside the grotto we had a snowy background and sleigh which owners could sit in with their dogs and get a photo.”

Visitors looking for some expert dog training tips could also book a 20 minute canine behaviour advice session.

Here they had the opportunity to share any concerns about their pet’s behaviour or simply pick up useful training techniques.

“Everyone was positive,” Janet added on the response from visitors. “We had lots of fantastic comments about the decoration which was entirely done by our intake co-ordinator, Sam O’Connor who gives up her own time to decorate the grotto.”

The charity was also visited by lots of former Battersea dogs who have been adopted from the home.

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