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“I will never forget you” - charity reveals impact first pets have on people’s lives this Valentine’s Day

A survey commissioned by Blue Cross pet charity this 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 14 February, the day singled out for love, celebrities shared with the pet rescue charity their first pet memories and the impact pets have had 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 Scanlon 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 or call 0300 790 9903. 


Notes to Editors 

  • Images of Joanna Scanlan with her current dog Millie and other pet images plus video available on request.
  • Blue Cross is a national charity that has been helping sick, injured, abandoned and homeless pets for over 120 years. We help thousands of pets in need every month by      providing veterinary care, expert behaviour help and find them loving homes. We also offer education for current and future pet owners plus pet bereavement support for those who have lost their pet companion. Pets help us in so many ways and they depend entirely on us, with your support we can give back to more pets in need. Pets change lives. We change theirs. 
  • For more information, please visit 

Media contact

Louise Lee: 020 7932 4066 / [email protected]
Press office: 0300 777 1950 / [email protected]