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Paul O’Grady is back where he belongs, at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, meeting the latest residents to trot through the front door. From assisting vets during surgical procedures, to hand-rearing puppies and helping to train a naughty beagle, Paul is determined to get his hands dirty like never before.
Paul meets the dogs who come into the home needing treatment, training and ultimately new homes. Every dog has its own story and each dog needs a new place they can call home.
There is no where quite like Battersea, which is tear jerking and uplifting in equal measure. And although Paul immerses himself in the positive work the charity do, he is also forced to confront the heart-breaking reality of stray dogs deserted on the streets and those left starving and mistreated.
In episode two, Paul meets mother and daughter Staffies Bella (age 14) and Missy (age 9), who have been inseparable since Missy was born.
Paul says: “We’ve seen best friends, but we’ve not seen mother and daughter. This is a first for me. Like Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli, look at them. There’s no way they can be split up.”
They’ve been bought to Battersea because their owner has fallen ill but the bond between them is so strong that vet Phil confirms they must be rehomed together. But first mum Bella must have some surgery to remove potentially dangerous lumps on her tummy. As she prepares to go under the knife, Bella says goodbye to her beloved daughter and they are utterly distressed to be temporarily separated from one another.
Paul tries to cheer Missy up: “Look at her, she misses her mam, she makes me want my mam! I find it really touching this bond between the two of them, really moving.”
Also at the home this week are three-month old, mastiff pups Una, Dots and Tresa. The puppies have had an unusual introduction to life, after being raised in a garage by a homeless man, until he was unable to care for them anymore.
When they first arrive at Battersea they’ve never even been on a lead, so Paul and the team are forced to transport them to their kennels in a laundry trolley.
Paul says: “I feel like a hospital porter.”
The unconventional upbringing of the puppies means they have no idea about life outside the garage and therefore the staff at Battersea must train them if they are to have any chance of being rehomed. Paul helps to try them on a lead and climb the stairs. Finally, the team set up a fake living room and let the puppies explore to get them used to a home environment. All goes well until one of the puppies knocks over a plant.
Helping to clean up, Paul says: “Now this is a hoover girls, I’ve no idea how it works. I thought it was something you hung your clothes on.”
After training, sadly the trio come down with the highly contagious doggy virus Parvo, which causes a quarantine situation in the home to stop the spread of this life threatening disease.
Finally, we meet a terrified little Jack Russell called Ethel, who is brought into the home by a London cab driver who is distraught and shaking after becoming separated from her owner. The Battersea team must work to try and reunite them.