Bill Bailey makes a paw-some ambassador for the Kennel Club’s Christmas campaign

The cost-of-living crisis has affected people across the country, but many don’t realise the wider impact it’s having, including on our pets. According to research by the Kennel Club Charitable Trust (KCCT) 58% of dog owners have made personal sacrifices for their dog with many saying they would go without food themselves so they could afford dog poof for their pets.

Sadly, the research also discovered that 1 in 10 have already had to give up their dog as a result. This is the reasoning behind KCCT’s Christmas fundraiser. Each year they look for new ways to encourage donations to support the lives of dogs in shelters.

This year their campaign focussed on making a difference for all dogs, no matter their breed or background.  It looked at all the ways in which dogs make a positive difference to our lives, from keeping us active to providing endless comfort.

To raise awareness, encourage donations and act as a spokesperson for the KCCT Christmas fundraiser, they were on the lookout for a celebrity that could really get tails-wagging. That celebrity had to be a dog-lover with a passion for their welfare, so we set to work finding them the perfect match.

We secured comedian, actor and musician Bill Bailey for this partnership. His hugely successful stand-up career which has seen him tour across the UK and beyond. From large screen films such as Hot Fuzz and Run Fat Boy Run, to television screens on shows such as Never Mind the Buzzcocks, QI and more, Bill has racked up a vast filmography in his career to-date. And of course, who could forget in 2020 when he gave us all a welcome distraction from the pandemic and stole everyone’s hearts in Strictly Come Dancing which he went on to win, making him the oldest winner in the show’s history.

Away from his professional work, Bill is a self-professed animal lover owing three dogs (including one rescue) and is a patron of International Animal Rescue. His instantly recognisable face and name, alongside his true dedication to animal welfare made him the perfect fit for this campaign.

For his work with KCCT, and as their spokesperson, he was responsible for sharing their research findings and opening up about the impact his own dogs have on his physical and mental health.

During broadcast interviews with the likes of BBC Breakfast, Heart FM and other prominent news outlets, Bill explained how just a £10 donation can make a difference to dogs in rescue over Christmas. He also acknowledged the fact that thanks to two generous donors of the KCCT, they’re able to double the ‘pawprint’ of every £1 donated.

Bill, amongst many other things, said: “I think being around animals is good for the soul, and that caring for a dog can actually make you a better person”.

As well as interviews, Bill also took to his Instagram page which has 295k followers, to post a picture of himself with one of his dogs, to promote the fantastic work KCCT are doing.

Bringing warmth, joy and of course a little comedic touch, Bill made a natural spokesperson for the campaign. And with his help, hopefully the KCCT can meet their target of £40,000 on the lead-up to Christmas.

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