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Friday, 29 June, 2001, 15:05 GMT 16:05 UK
Be a dog for a day
Dog in a kennel at Battersea
Two people will swap places with a stray
Dog owners are being auditioned by Battersea Dogs' Home to be "strays" for a day.

They want two dedicated people to trade places with a dog from the kennels to highlight what strays go through.

The couple will be given their own dog run and will be monitored by the team at all times.

Battersea hopes the experiment will draw attention to its "Paws For Thought" campaign, which reminds people to make provisions for their pets before going on holiday.

Battersea Dogs' Home
Battersea takes in about 30 dogs a day
The home wants to prevent neglected family pets from becoming strays.

Eight people have been short-listed for the experience and they will be put through their paces on an agility course run by an army dog trainer.

The final pair will experience the same sights, smells and conditions as a real stray dog would during its time in Battersea.

At the beginning of the day they will be collected from their local police station, taken to Battersea and given a thorough going over by a team of vets.

These tests will find out the state of their health, mind and their nutritional requirements.

Battersea Dogs' Home normally takes in about 30 dogs a day, but during the summer months the rate is expected to double.

Many of these dogs are turned out onto the streets to fend for themselves because their owners have failed to plan ahead.

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