From strays to first-class pets: Dogs and cats abandoned at Battersea home become photogenic stars of new stamps
11th March 2010
They didn't exactly smile for the camera.
But there was lots of tail wagging, tongue lolling and contented purring when these models got together.
Some even managed that classic pose of cocking their head to one side with an earnest gaze.
No wonder they were happy. After a rather tough start to life each and every one of this whiskered brigade has fallen on their feet, or rather paws.
Look, I can do it again! Tia the nine-year-old terrier reenacts her playful pose captured by a photographer for the new Royal Mail stamps. She was adopted by a family in Berkshire when she was five months old
And all have the famous Battersea Dogs & Cats Home in London to thank for putting them on the path to a happy ever after.
These former Battersea residents, all happily living with new owners, star in a set of first-class stamps to mark the home's 150th anniversary.
They were once among the 12,000 animals the charity takes in a year.
The charity began life as the Temporary Home for Lost and Starving Dogs in Holloway, North London, back in 1860.
First class act: The eye-catching stamps celebrate 150 years of the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. Clockwise from top, Pixie, Button, Herbie, Mr Tumnus, Tafka, Tia, Leonard, Tigger, Casey and Boris
It was 11 years later that it moved south to Battersea and in 1883 that it started taking in cats.
And one hundred and fifty years since its formation, it remains true to its simple message: 'We aim never to turn away a dog or cat in need of our help.'
Julietta Edgar, Head of Special Stamps, Royal Mail said: 'Stamps featuring animals have always been extremely popular with collectors and non-collectors alike, and I think these wonderfully charming and expressive images are a great way to mark the achievements of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.'
Howard Bridges, Chief Executive of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, said: 'Everyone at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is thrilled that the final images truly capture the character of the animals chosen.'
Here are the ten photogenic pets who have been selected to appear on the 150th birthday stamps:HERBIE
The seven-year-old mongrel arrived at the home as a puppy in 2002 but was soon adopted and now has a new canine pal in Tafka, to whom he is teaching some flyball tricks - a kind of relay running game for dogs.
This playful seven-year-old border collie arrived at Battersea in 2008 when his owner died. Now living with a new owner in Berkshire, Tafka may soon be representing Battersea in the doggy game of flyball, as well as in the rescue agility team. Tafka and Herbie live together.
Furry housemates: Herbie, left, and fellow canine Tafka sit patiently beside their own stamps
The terrier was discovered as an underweight and timid stray in Essex but after two weeks of tender loving care he bounded off to a new home in Maidenhead, Berkshire. When his owner first saw Leonard at the Battersea home he was cowering at the back of his kennel with his huge ears held back.
Looking good: Leonard the terrier, admires his face on a 1st class stamp
The two-year-old (right) was born at Battersea with his two sisters when his mother was brought in because her owner could no longer care for her.
Now Mr Tumnus is living with sister Lucy and new owners in London where he is often found observing life from a shelf in the kitchen.
The loveable lurcher needed a new home when his owner was too ill to care for him.
But he quickly charmed his 'foster' carer who has since adopted him.
He lives in Surrey where he enjoys long walks, chasing toys - and squirrels.
All charm: Casey was soon adopted by his foster parent and now loves long walks in Surrey
A Golden oldie, the male tabby needed a new home when his owner died and found one after two months. Tigger lives in London and loves lazing in the sun and strolling around the garden. He now demands to be let out every morning for his daily walk around the flower-beds and jumps on everyone’s lap as soon as they sit down. He loves sleeping under the duvet, lazing in the sun and tucking into any ham that might come his way.
The five-year-old ginger tomcat arrived at the cattery when his owners could no longer care for him. But he stayed just a few days before he moved on to a new home in Hampshire where he loves to play with anything he can chase, and enjoys the occasional treat.
Tomcat mates: For veteran Tigger, left, modelling for Royal Mail is serious business. But it's a stretch and roll around for Button, who just loves to play with anything he can chase
The mastiff arrived at the home as a tiny stray puppy and was fostered to adjust to the home environment. The foster carer fell in love with Pixie and gave her a permanent home in East Sussex.
Willing to please: Pixie, the mastiff, sits proudly with her stamp
The nine-year-old terrier was adopted by a family in Berkshire when she was five months old and has since encouraged a string of foster dogs waiting for new homes.
Best behaviour: Tia the terrier sits upright for her all-important stamp photoshoot
The bulldog with the woeful expression was a stray when he arrived at the home in 2007 with a very bad skin condition. Now fully recovered he lives with adoptive owners in London.
Don't look so glum: Despite his woeful expression, Boris is now a happy bulldog after finding a permanent home in London
All together now: Top row (left to right) Tigger, a tomcat; Tafka, a collie; Herbie, a mongrel; Mr Tumnus, a tomcat; Casey, a lurcher; Leonard, a terrier; Bottom row (left to right) Pixie, a mastiff; Tia, a terrier; Boris, a bulldog and Button, a tomcat
With most town centres currently festooned with fairy lights, you might not give this tree a second glance.
But take a closer look and you'll realise that it's not been decorated but is in fact alive with little birds.
Hundreds of pied wagtails cover every twig and branch as they gather to roost for the evening.
Roosting: Hundreds of wagtails line the branches, giving the impression of Christmas lights
Birds of a feather: The wagtails in close-up
The long-tailed black and white bird is usually seen on its own, flitting through the sky in search of insects. Its other common trait is to stand on the ground frantically wagging its tail up and down – hence the name.
But when dusk falls, they gather in large numbers.
This flock was spotted by photographer David Tipling among the decorations in Tunbridge Wells.
He said: 'At first I thought they were lights that weren't working. People were walking underneath oblivious.
‘It has been so cold recently that perhaps they find it warmer roosting in the middle of town rather than out in the countryside.
'They did look a little spooky, all of them gathered there together.'
Dr Nigel Collar, from conservation group BirdLife International, said: 'There are two theories as to why so many wagtails roost together. The first is information exchange – they're all sizing each other up to see who's put on weight, lost weight and where the best food is to be found.
'The second is that it helps protect them from nocturnal predators as the larger numbers mean there's always one bird with his eyes open.'
The birds can be found across most of the UK, and leave some of the highland and northern areas of Scotland in winter.
They are a sub-species of the White wagtail, which breeds in much of Europe, Asia and north Africa.
An estimated 1,000 red-throated divers spend the winter in Liverpool Bay
Three months of public consultation are getting under way on plans to make Liverpool Bay a special protection area for birds.
It is home to large colonies of common scoter off the coast at Colwyn Bay in Conwy and at Shell Flat off Blackpool.
The stretch of Irish Sea spans the north Wales coast from the western tip of Anglesey to the Lancashire coast.
A decision on whether to make the bay a protection area will be made in 2010 after public opinion is sought.
Common scoters winter in British waters before returning to Scandinavia to breed. Experts estimate that between 60-70,000 birds make the trip to Liverpool Bay every year - nearly 60% of all common scoters to be found off the UK shore.
"The number of these birds in Liverpool Bay mean they are off international importance," explained Dr Neil Smith from the Countryside Council for Wales, which is carrying out the consultation exercise, along with Natural England.
Up to 30,000 alone are thought to visit the area around Colwyn Bay and Llanddulas.
The bay is also home to around 1,000 red-throated divers, which is more than 5% of the British population.
Dr Smith said the extent of the bird numbers meant the UK government had a duty to protect their environment under European law.
The designation as a special protection area (SPA) means off-shore developments, such as wind farms, would come under extra scrutiny.
"The designation doesn't mean Liverpool Bay is a no-go area, but it does mean there must be thorough consideration about developments, there is an extra test for them to pass," said Dr Smith.
"Liverpool Bay does seem to be good for renewable energy, and there are bound to be more applications in the future.
"We just need to safeguard the feeding grounds in the future."
Around 60% of all wintering common scoters are in Liverpool Bay
Dr Smith urged anyone with a view on the future designation of Liverpool Bay to take part in the consultation process, adding: "This three month window will provide people with the chance to participate in and influence the decision making process."
It is expected that the findings of the public consultation will be presented to the UK and assembly governments in summer 2010, when a decision on awarding protection status will be made by ministers.
he United States, locked
in the kind of twilight
disconnect that grips
dying empires, is a
country entranced by
illusions. It spends its
intellectual energy on
the trivial and the
absurd. It is captivated
by the hollow stagecraft
This article is very
The HORD has begun its
own orphanage Primary
School in March 2010 in
the rural Bussiwa village
in kamuli district.
People live in small
grass hatched houses,
often large families in
one room. The
people who live in these
rural villages ar...
Forces for Nature: The
Power of Communities to
Planet November 13,
2013 | National
Geographic Society |
Around the world, local
indigenous peoples depend
on natural resources such
Decided to help a
He wanted to feed hungry
Or possibly sponsor some
However, he had no money
And didn’t know how
to earn it,
He thought of stealing
The world's worst
punishment for rape?16
year old Liz was walking
home from her
funeral when she was
ambushed by six men who
took turns raping her and
then threw her
unconscious body down a
6-meter toilet pit. Their
HELP orphans in Uganda
WHAT DO THESE KIDS
EXPECT FROM THE WORLD
??!!! What can a
helpless child under the
age of 12 expect from his
lonesome world, other
than food, proper sleep,
non-ragged cloths and
quest for knowledge?...
Also when the nigh...