A VERY special guest visited the Civic Centre on Wednesday to collect a cheque on behalf of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

A cheque for £3,000 was presented by the mayor to seven-weeks-old Sparkle, a Staffordshire bull terrier, who was accompanied by her Hannah Lloyd and David Milson from the home.

The money, raised through the mayor’s rainbow charity scheme, was handed over early to qualify for a 2013 scheme, run in partnership with retail business Orvis. This means the funds will be doubled to £6,000.

Under the ‘working dogs’ scheme, dogs that are lost, abandoned or homeless, are assessed by Battersea for specials skills they can develop. The animals go on to be trained as sniffer dogs, those working with the troops and pet therapy dogs – a particular interest of the mayor, Cllr Allan Kauffman.

Sparkle is looking for a new life, developing her skills to work as an ambassador for the home. She will also appear in a Christmas Day edition of Paul O’Grady’s For The Love Of Dogs.

Cllr Kauffman said: “This link with Battersea Dogs and Cats Home has been a real eye opener on how we can support ‘man’s best friend’ when they fall on difficult times.”