Memories of first pets are recalled by celebs for Valentine’s Day

Joanna Scanlan and her dog Millie. Picture: Helen Yates
Joanna Scanlan and her dog Millie. Picture: Helen Yates

A survey commissioned by Blue Cross pet charity, which has a centre at Lewknor, for Valentine’s Day reveals the powerful impact people’s very first pet has made on the rest of their lives.

Over half said their first pet taught them about unconditional love or the meaning of friendship, while more than a third describe the first pet they ever loved as their ‘best friend’. 40% surveyed said if they could say one thing to their first pet it would be “I will never forget you.”

This February 14, celebrities shared with the animal rescue charity their first pet memories and the impact on their lives.

Join them by adding memories, anecdotes and pictures to the Blue Cross website, Facebook page and tweet us @The_Blue_Cross your first pet’s picture or story with their name and the impact they had on your life - use #firstpetlove.

Bridget Jones’s Baby and No Offence star Joanna Scanlan said: “My first pet, Belle, was not meant to be my true love, she was meant to be brother’s true love because she was the present for his 4th birthday. But for the 17 years of her life she loved me best which was a source of huge contention for the whole of our childhood! I had almost a telepathic relationship with her. I could get her to do anything. She seemed to speak English. She was a Jack Russell and she was very bright and loved to sing along when my parents played opera music. She was absolutely the sweetest natured dog.”

Star of ITV’s Girlfriends Miranda Richardson said: “My first pet love was Pearl, a lilac point Siamese cat. Pets have been so important to me in my life. I could never choose a favourite, they are all different souls and I loved them all.”

Tracy Genever from Blue Cross said: “Pets play a huge part in children’s lives and form many happy memories that stay with them forever. We hope to hear more about people’s first pets and what they meant to them. This Valentine’s Day, I will be fondly remembering my first pets who were rabbits Mike and Peter, named after my favourite TV show The Monkees. They were a constant source of entertainment and really taught me about caring for others.”

Almost half of those taking part said their first pet played a big part in their childhood and 40% said their first pet influenced in some way decisions on pets they have owned since – some even giving them the same name.

To find out more or to make a donation towards the care of a homeless pet who will be lonely this Valentine’s visit www.bluecross.org.uk/firstpetlove or call 0300 790 9903.