The celebs back­ing the Blue Cross

Celebri­ties meet home­less pets at a be­hindthe-scenes visit to Blue Cross in Bur­ford

Cotswold Life - - INSIDE - PHO­TOG­RA­PHY: Rankin

TV stars Mi­randa Richard­son and Joanna Scan­lan met home­less cats, dogs, rab­bits and horses dur­ing an ex­clu­sive be­hind the scenes visit to Blue Cross for a spe­cial set of por­traits shot by in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned pho­tog­ra­pher Rankin.

Rankin teamed up with the na­tional char­ity to shoot a range of por­traits aimed at cel­e­brat­ing the im­por­tant role pets play in peo­ple’s lives and to en­cour­age peo­ple to think about re­hom­ing an an­i­mal from Blue Cross.

Easten­ders star Michelle Collins and X Fac­tor singer Diana Vick­ers also took part in the pho­to­shoot at Blue Cross’s re­hom­ing cen­tre in the pic­turesque Cotswolds vil­lage of Bur­ford in Ox­ford­shire.

The stars met a va­ri­ety of an­i­mals wait­ing for new homes at the cen­tre in­clud­ing dogs, cats and kit­tens, chin­chillas, rats, mice and horses.

Among the an­i­mals the stars met was two-year-old Chi­huahua cross Stitch who had been brought into Bur­ford Blue Cross by the dog war­den af­ter he was found wan­der­ing the streets as a skinny and ner­vous stray and horses Splodge and Emer­ald, who came into the re­hom­ing cen­tre sep­a­rately af­ter they were found fly-graz­ing.

The group also met the Blue Cross team and vol­un­teers who look af­ter the an­i­mals dur­ing a tour of the cen­tre and its fa­cil­i­ties.

Rankin him­self even got in front of the cam­era for a selfie with Splodge and later shared the shot on his per­sonal In­sta­gram ac­count.

Rankin said: “Pets change our lives. I know mine cer­tainly have and that is why I wanted to join forces with Blue Cross and their fa­mous friends and through this se­ries of unique por­traits, in­spire peo­ple to give back to pets in need for the amaz­ing, en­rich­ing and won­der­ful roles pets play in our lives.

“I couldn’t re­sist get­ting up close and per­sonal for my own photo with Splodge and I hope he has found the new home he de­serves, where he will no doubt light up the lives of his new fam­ily”.

Speak­ing of her own spe­cial bond with her pets af­ter meet­ing the an­i­mals at Bur­ford, Mi­randa Richard­son said: “My pets are my con­stant com­pan­ions. They are won­der­ful souls who fill rooms. They are peo­ple to love and give you a chance to nur­ture. I think they have given me skills and I hope I’ve given them some.”

Co­me­dian Jimmy Carr, who adopted York­shire Ter­rier Marnie from Blue Cross’s re­hom­ing cen­tre in Lewknor, Ox­ford­shire in 2016; ac­tors An­thony and Emily Head, Is­sac Hemp­stead-wright and James Bowen and

Bob the Street Cat were also in­volved and were pho­tographed for the project at Rankin’s stu­dios in Lon­don. Sally de la Be­doyere, CEO at Blue Cross said: “We were in­cred­i­bly ex­cited when Rankin agreed to give up his time to take pho­tos for this por­trait se­ries. The im­ages couldn’t be a more fit­ting and per­fect cel­e­bra­tion of pets and a clear in­spi­ra­tion of why we need to give back to all those pets in need.

“The horses, kit­ten, baby bunny and sev­eral of the dogs fea­tured in the por­traits were all ones who ar­rived at Blue Cross in a time of need and we will al­ways be there to give back to pets as they do so much to en­rich our lives.” “Through our re­hom­ing, low-cost ve­teri­nary, be­havioural and pet be­reave­ment ser­vices we know acutely how rich the roles are pets play in our in­di­vid­ual and fam­ily lives and that is why we need to be there for them when they des­per­ately need our help.”

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