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Battersea Dogs Home celebrates 150th anniversary

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Media captionBehind the scenes at Battersea Dogs' Home

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home is celebrating its 150th anniversary.

The animal refuge in south-west London started in a stableyard in north London in 1860 and has gone on to care for more than three million cats and dogs.

The home was founded by Mary Tealby in 1860 and run by volunteers. It now employs 310 staff on three sites.

To mark the anniversary, the home has been holding a celebrity fundraising ball at Battersea Power Station, hosted by Amanda Holden.

Today, the home cares for more than 10,000 dogs and cats a year.

The home's other two sites are in Windsor, Berkshire, and in Brands Hatch, Kent.

The sites together receive on average 22 dogs and seven cats each day.

'Desperate need'

The Collars & Coats Gala Ball on Thursday evening will also be attended by Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, Brian May, Roger Daltrey, and Meat Loaf's duet partner Patti Russo.

Image caption Nila, a german shepherd cross, posed on the red carpet at the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home Gala

The event comes as the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home's longest-standing resident has finally found a home in Middlesbrough.

David Norton gave a home to Olivia, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, who had come into the home in July 2009.

She had had received an injury to her right eye, which later had to be removed by Battersea vets, and had suffered from a broken leg in the past.

Mr Norton wanted a new pet after his previous Battersea dog Cleo died.

He said: "I wanted to get another dog like Cleo, who was in desperate need of a home. I've always taken on the dogs people think of as the worst cases, but to me they are the ones who most need a home.

"When I saw Olivia online and read she only had one eye and was being fostered I knew she needed a loving home."

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