Adorable pageant queen pup raising awareness of heartbreaking dog meat trade
An adorable model dog is making it her best-dressed mission to prevent other animals from being eaten.
Dutch Keeshund Keisha, who lives with her owner Michelle Parker in Rawdon, West Yorkshire, scooped the Queen Dog and Best In Show awards at this week's Fur Babies pageant near York.
The colourful show had an Alice In Wonderland meets Willy Wonka theme, and 50 dogs from around the country got together to strut their stuff.
Like dozens of pageant queens before her, Keisha used the opportunity to raise awareness and funds for a charity that is close to her heart, supporting less fortunate pups around the world.
Michelle is an avid supporter of the NoToDogMeat charity, a pioneering movement which supports grassroots campaigners and runs animal shelters in countries with a dog and cat meat trade.
The vegetarian organisation opposes the cruel slaughter of all animals for food, fur and 'traditional' medicine.
Keisha is a regular fixture at campaign events, and supported the charity at Crufts at the start of this year.
After winning the hearts of judges at Fur Babies, Michelle and Keisha have convinced organisers to make NoToDogMeat their charity of choice for all future events.
Michelle said: "I first got involved with NoToDogMeat after seeing the horrific cruelty of the dog meat trade in videos on Facebook."
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"Other larger organisations use their money to fund lots of different kinds of projects, but I like that NoToDogMeat is grassroots, and is on the ground campaigning and supporting change on this issue alone."
"I'm so proud of Keisha and so pleased that she won these prizes. It took me weeks to make her costume, I got really carried away!"
CEO and founder of the NoToDogMeat charity, Julia de Cadenet, said: "Well done Keisha, and thank you so much to Fur Babies for supporting the work that we do."
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"Our charity isn't about attacking anyone's culture, this is about ending animal cruelty and giving a safe and loving home to former dog and cat meat trade survivors, every animal deserves that."
The Fur Babies pageant was started by Phil and June Hodgkins and takes place at the Jodhpurs Riding School just outside York.
This is Fur Babies' fourth event, and organiser Phil believes that smaller safely spaced events like this may well keep the dog show circuit going during the pandemic.
He said: "We were really lucky to be able to go ahead, and it was even touch and go in the week before because of the virus."
"But it was a wonderful day and a real lift for everyone after the year it's been."
"We were proud to support NoToDogMeat, we really agree with all that they stand for and the work that they do."
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