Well, after watching the video - www.sharethejoy.co.uk (which my children thought was hilarious and I thought was pretty clever) - I decided to vote for the Dogs Trust, which is one of 5 dog charities which are in line to receive a £6,000 donation this Christmas.
The reason for my choice? All of the charities are worthy winners, but the Dogs Trust has a special mention in my forthcoming book - Beastly London - so I'm biased really....
The Dogs Trust, originally known as The National Canine Defence League (NCDL), was founded in 1891 'to protect dogs from torture and ill-usage of every kind'. I had a relatively quick flick through The Times archive and found a variety of issues which the NCDL highlighted between 1896 and 1915... it makes for a mixture of sad and heartening reading - probably much like their work today.
1903:Statements from the NCDL were read in Parliament about the ‘enormous extent to which dogs are being used for vivisectional experiments’ - they had sent a petition to Parliament for the prohibition of vivisection on dogs. By 1906 their petition included 700,000 signatures. The NCDL also offered a £5 reward for anyone able to trace the whereabouts of a Lady who (presumably) took pity on a Collie dog and took it home after it escaped the vivisectors and found its way into a shop in Gower Street – the dog had a cut throat and was suffering terribly.
GO ON HAVE A VOTE! www.sharethejoy.co.uk (but I won't hold you to The Dogs Trust though, because all of the charities do their own sterling work.)