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    June 26th, 2017Laura P (Editor)Articles

    Did you hear the one about the animal abuser who tortured and killed a dog, only to receive less than six months in prison?

    It sounds like a bad joke – and it is. Some of the UK’s most beloved comedians are joining forces with Battersea Dogs & Cats Home to tell the world that the six-month maximum sentence for animal cruelty in England and Wales is so bad, it’s laughable.

    Paul O’Grady, Ricky Gervais, Sue Perkins, Harry Hill and Tracey Ullman are all standing up for the animals as they back Battersea’s campaign for the maximum sentence for the most severe animal cruelty offences to be increased to five years. They’re urging their fans to pass on the message and join the 33,978 people who have so far pledged their support and emailed their MP to call for tougher punishments by visiting www.battersea.org.uk/NotFunny.

    Battersea’s Ambassador and the face of its award-winning TV show For the Love of Dogs, Paul O’Grady, said: “There’s nothing like looking into an animal’s eyes to see how innocent and trusting they are, and it makes me angry to see the way some people mistreat and abuse them. I can’t stand by and watch while those responsible for the most terrible suffering are unlikely to get more than a few weeks in prison. What’s to stop them doing it again?”

    Ricky Gervais added: “It’s sickening to hear about innocent dogs and cats enduring terrible suffering at the hands of humans and knowing the law does nothing to protect them, or deter people from committing these acts of cruelty. Six months in prison is nowhere near long enough for people who choose to abuse, torture and kill animals. You could get more for fly-tipping.”

    Battersea launched its campaign at Westminster in February, publishing research that revealed England and Wales’ current six-month maximum prison sentence is the lowest sentence for animal cruelty across the whole of Europe, the United States and Australia.

    In comparison, the maximum sentence for commercial fly-tipping is five years in prison. In March this year, a Devon fly-tipper was sentenced to 20 months, while just weeks later a Wirral man who admitted stabbing and burning a dog alive was jailed for just 24 weeks.

    Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats pledged to increase animal cruelty sentences in their 2017 manifestos.

    Battersea’s Chief Executive Claire Horton said: “No one knows how to tell a joke better than comedians like Paul, Ricky, Sue, Tracey and Harry, and we’re so pleased they’re standing up and declaring to the world that animal cruelty sentencing is not funny, and deserves proper sentences that reflect the dreadful crimes they are. Battersea’s campaign has already begun to make its mark and we won’t stop using our voice for animals who have nobody else to speak out for them.

    We look forward to working with the new Government to make this happen. Join us and show your support by emailing your MP to call for change.”

    Paul, Ricky, Sue, Harry and Tracey are the faces of the campaign and fans will see posters featuring their images on billboards, posters and digital screens at more than 170 locations across the UK and London’s transport network as well as social media.

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    February 7th, 2017Laura P (Editor)Articles

    Leading welfare charity Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is calling for punishments for animal cruelty crimes to be taken more seriously, as the Government once again ignored demands for appropriate sentences in its response to a Westminster Committee report on animal welfare released today.

    Battersea, which sees many cruelty and neglect cases each year, is disappointed to note the Government, in its response to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Select Committee’s wide-ranging report on animal welfare, has declined to take forward calls to increase the current maximum sentence for animal cruelty offences to five years. This measure had been welcomed by key organisations in the Committee’s report, which was published on 6 November 2016.

    Currently, the maximum sentence in England and Wales is six months in prison, a ban from ownership and a fine in England and Wales – the lowest such sentence in Europe. England and Wales lag far behind most other countries, including Northern Ireland at five years and Scotland at one year.

    Battersea’s Chief Executive, Claire Horton, said: “We welcome clarity on Government thinking on animal welfare but it’s disappointing they have failed to take up so many of EFRA’s recommendations. We’re particularly disappointed in their view on animal cruelty sentencing.

    “The current sentence for such offences is inadequate, both as a punishment and a deterrent for those who mistreat and neglect animals to the point of unacceptable suffering. This is an issue that Battersea, along with other key animal welfare organisations, has regularly brought to the Government’s attention and we will continue to speak out on the need for sentences which properly fit the crime.

    “Animal abusers need to be brought to justice, so we welcome the Government agreeing that the RSPCA should continue investigating and prosecuting such dreadful crimes.”

    On another aspect of the Government’s response to EFRA, Battersea confirms it has long campaigned against the sale of puppies and kittens in pet shops. The Home welcomes the Government’s measures to tackle widespread welfare problems across the puppy trade, such as fully banning the sale of any puppies under eight weeks of age and requiring anybody who sells animals to show their valid licence details.

    Claire Horton added: “Whilst Battersea supports the principle behind a ban on third-party sales of puppies, recognising it could help to end the misery brought by the puppy farming industry, it is yet unclear how such a ban could work in practice at this time. Battersea understands the Government’s position that regulation can achieve higher standards but feels more could be done to improve welfare of breeding dogs and their offspring now, if a ban were to be seen as the eventual goal.”

    The charity looks forward in the coming months to working with both the Government and the EFRA Committee to improve the quality of the breeding and sale of puppies and kittens.

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    November 25th, 2016Laura P (Editor)Articles

    Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is calling on the public to help keep the shelter’s rescue dogs warm as the cold weather descends on London.

    The world-renowned charity currently doesn’t have enough bedding for all their dogs this winter and is asking its supporters for urgent donations of new or second-hand blankets.

    The blankets donated to the Home will be gratefully received by Battersea’s dogs who will snuggle into them as Christmas approaches.

    The Home’s skinnier dogs, like one-year-old Jack Russell Terrier cross Choccie, will particularly benefit from these Christmas gifts.

    Battersea’s Centre Manager Robert Young said: “Our skinnier dogs, such as Choccie, and the thinner breeds like our Greyhounds and Lurchers, really feel the cold over winter. We do everything we can to keep our dogs warm as it gets colder, including dressing them in doggy jumpers, putting the heating up and giving particularly vulnerable dogs special, padded beds – but nothing helps to combat the winter chills quite like a warm, snuggly blanket. So please, donate a blanket to Battersea this Christmas – you’ll make a rescue dog very happy.”

    Blanket donations can be brought into Battersea’s London centre. The Home kindly asks the public not to donate sheets or towels, which are too thin to keep the dogs warm over winter, or duvets, which are too bulky to be washed in the charity’s laundry facilities. 

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    November 22nd, 2016Laura P (Editor)Articles

    Santa will be paying a visit to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home in Old Windsor over the weekend of 3-4 December, to give dog owners a Christmas photo opportunity with a difference.

    Visitors can bring their canine companion to the shelter for the annual Santa Paws event- where they can visit Father Christmas’ grotto for an a-paw-able doggie photoshoot.

    Last year, Battersea Old Windsor had around 150 people come to Santa Paws when it was a one-day event and, due to its popularity, this year it will run for two days to give even more supporters a chance to experience the festive fun.

    Battersea Old Windsor Centre Manager Kaye Mughal says: “You don’t have to own a Battersea dog to come along to Santa Paws – all dog owners and their four-legged friends are welcome. Visitors can have their pooch photographed alone with Santa, or get the whole family involved for the ultimate Christmas card photoshoot. While guests wait for Father Christmas, they can try for a prize in the festive raffle, or stop for tea and cake amongst the tinsel.”

    “We currently have lots of dogs looking for new homes who are very happy to live with other dogs – so if you’re thinking of expanding your canine family, this is also a great chance to come and meet some of our lovely waggy-tailed residents.”

    Santa Paws event details

    Location: Battersea Old Windsor, Priest Hill, Englefield Green, Windsor, SL4 2JN

    Dates: Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 December 2016

    Time: 10:30am – 4:30pm

    Admission to Santa Paws, which includes one photograph, cost £4.50, with reduced prices for additional prints.

    Battersea Old Windsor’s Kennels and Cattery will be open as usual with normal admissions fees applying (£2 for adults and £1 for children).

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    October 26th, 2016Laura P (Editor)Articles

    He became known as Battersea Dogs & Cats Home’s unluckiest dog – but Greyhound cross Bud’s story has finally had a fairy-tale ending thanks to Paul O’Grady.

    budBud had been looking for a home for nearly three years, but his luck finally changed for the better when he was rehomed by the Corns family, who spotted him on Battersea’s ITV series Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs.

    Ian Corns and his family, who live in Kingswinford in the West Midlands, answered Paul’s personal appeal on the programme for a home for Bud, who is Battersea’s longest-stay dog.

    Whenever a Battersea dog has appeared on the programme still needing a home, the show’s millions of UK viewers have always responded in their droves.

    Ian said: “When I saw Bud on the Battersea programme I couldn’t stop looking at him. His character shone through and he reminded me so much of our old Collie-cross Rune. We called Battersea Old Windsor and they arranged for us to come and meet him. Now we’ve got Bud we can’t believe he’s been looking for a home for so long. He fits in so well already. He loves being involved in whatever the family is doing and we’ve all fallen in love with him.”

    The series finale of Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs is on this Thursday at 8:30pm and the show’s famous host said he is thrilled to hear Bud had been rehomed.

    Paul O’Grady said: “I can’t think of a better way to end the series then with knowing Bud has found a family. It broke my heart to think that he might spend a fourth Christmas without a home, so I’m over-the-moon to hear he’ll be surrounded by love this festive season. Bud is such an amazing dog and he deserves to have a happy ending to his story.”

    Bud came into Battersea in November 2013, because his owners’ circumstances changed and they were no longer able to take care of him.

    He spent years in kennels before going out on foster with two of Battersea’s volunteers, to give him some stability while he waited for his forever-home.

    Battersea Old Windsor Centre Manager Kaye Mughal said: “Since Bud arrived at Battersea the charity has rehomed over 5500 dogs, yet Bud was constantly being overlooked and we were at a loss to understand why. He’s such a wonderful dog with a great personality. But as soon as Bud appeared in Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs the phone started ringing off the hook. When we spoke to Ian and his family everything seemed to click into place- they’re a great match for him.”

    Fans of Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs will be able to see more of Bud’s rehoming story on the show’s Christmas special on ITV.

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    October 20th, 2016Laura P (Editor)Articles

    Battersea Dogs & Cats Home dog Ethel stars in ITV’s Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs tonight (20th October, 8:30pm), where the TV personality falls in love with her unusual habit of clambering to the highest point of the room.

    mkt_img_7418In tonight’s episode, as well as helping the four-year-old Cavachon – who is finding life in kennels rather overwhelming – find the perfect vantage point by installing her favourite chair in her kennels so she can watch the world go by, Paul meets Max the Setter cross, who is struggling to make any friends – either human or canine – because he is Battersea’s smelliest dog. Can the vets get to the bottom of his off-putting body odour? This episode also features Milo the one-year-old Labrador, who likes nothing more than charging around after tennis balls. However, his knee ligament is damaged, meaning he has to undergo major surgery. Tune in at 8:30pm to see how they all get on; or you can watch a preview of tonight’s episode here.

    While Ethel’s love of heights captured Paul’s heart, she’s not the only Battersea dog whose quirks are one-of-a-kind.

    Battersea Rehoming and Welfare Manager, Becky Fisher, said: “All our Battersea dogs have their own unique personalities, but sometimes we get some especially unconventional canine characters that really stand out. At the moment we’ve got some one-of-a-kind dogs at Battersea and we’re hoping someone out there will embrace their individuality and give these a-paw-able pooches the home they deserve.”

    Battersea’s quirkiest canines:

    Coco: the giant lap dog

    Weighing over 27 kilos, Coco could hardly be described as one of Battersea’s smaller dogs. However, this gentle giant is convinced he’s a lapdog. Coco was brought in because his owners’ circumstances changed and they were no longer able to look after him. This lovely old gentleman is an affectionate boy and if you sit down near him for more than a few seconds, you’re likely to find yourself with a lap full of this nine-year-old mongrel. Coco is desperate to find a home, having been at Battersea for over 80 days. Whoever takes this gorgeous cuddle-monster home will have a life-long, loving companion.

    Mo: the dog who likes to be tucked in at night

    Mo captured the hearts of Battersea staff as soon as he arrived thanks to his pronounced overbite, which certainly gives him a unique look. This four-year-old Jack Russell is an adorable but shy boy who likes nothing more than cuddles and his blanket. Mo enjoys snuggling down to sleep under a special brown blanket. He’s an affectionate boy who is feeling a bit overwhelmed in the kennels and is hoping someone will come forward and give him a forever home soon.

    Tyler: the dog who does the Mexican wave 

    As far as we know, eight-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier Tyler has never been to Mexico – but this quirky Staffordshire Bull Terrier certainly loves to do the Mexican wave. Whenever he is happy or excited Tyler likes to sit on his back legs and throw his paws up in the air over his head. Tyler’s quirky habit has made this eight-year-old a firm favourite among the staff at Battersea and he’s hoping his special trick will help him to win over a potential new owner.

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    October 5th, 2016Laura P (Editor)Articles

    The a seven-year-old Greyhound cross has been homeless for over 1000 days! 

    Paul O’Grady is appealing to the nation’s dog-lovers to help find a home for Battersea Dogs & Cats Home’s unluckiest dog, Bud, who has been looking for a home for over 1000 days. Since Bud arrived at Battersea, the charity has rehomed 5500 dogs, yet Bud has been constantly overlooked through no fault of his own.

    Now the lovely seven-year-old Greyhound/Collie cross is hoping his luck will change and he’ll find a home when he stars in Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs on Thursday 6 October.

    Paul O’Grady said: “I fell in love with Bud while I was filming with him. He’s such an affectionate and lovely natured dog and I can’t believe he’s still looking for a home after all this time. I’m really hoping his luck is about to change and someone watching the show will fall in love with him and give him the home he deserves. Bud has already spent two Christmases at Battersea and I’m appealing to dog-lovers out there to think about giving this lovely boy a home, so he doesn’t have to spend a third festive season looking for a family.”

    Bud’s former owners brought him into the Old Windsor branch of the charity, because their circumstances changed and they were no longer able to take care of him. The average stay for a dog at Battersea is just a month, but Bud has been at the charity for over two-and-a-half years.

    Battersea Old Windsor’s Rehoming and Welfare Manager Sean Welland said: “As far as we know, Bud is the longest-stay dog in Battersea’s history and we’re at a loss to explain why, when he’s got a wonderful personality. Bud loves cuddles and likes to be tucked in at night under a fleece blanket before he goes to sleep. He’s great with people and other dogs and could easily live with a family who have older children, but he’s not a fan of cats. He’s looking for a home with people who have some experience of Greyhounds or Lurchers. Everyone at the charity is in love with Bud and we all want to see him find a home before he hits a third year at Battersea.”

    Bud is currently out on foster but a few weeks ago he came back to the Battersea’s Old Windsor centre for a surprise party with some of his human and canine friends, to cheer him up as he hit the 1000-day mark without a home.

    Battersea’s at a loss as to why it’s taken Bud so long to find a home, but Sean adds, “It might be because he’s a bigger dog or because he’s that little bit older, but who knows? It’s really not Bud’s fault he’s been so unlucky and we’re really hoping with Paul O’Grady’s support we can finally turn things around for this super boy.”

    Find out more about Bud’s story by watching Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs on Thursday 6 October at 8:30pm on ITV.

    If you would like to rehome Bud or any of the dogs at Battersea’s Old Windsor centre, please contact 01784 494 443 or email bow.rehomers@battersea.org.uk

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    September 20th, 2016Laura P (Editor)Articles

    When you meet cuddly Lurcher Flash you would never guess what he looked like when he first arrived at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home in Old Windsor. 

    The one-year-old arrived at the Home in an awful state, after he was found as a stray wandering the streets and brought in by a local council.


    He was underweight with a severe, untreated skin condition which had left him with multiple sores, and a red-raw belly, face and legs.


    It’s been a long road to recovery but, after an operation and multiple skin treatments, Flash is now fighting fit.


    However, Flash is now facing a new hurdle, as he is struggling to find a family and has just passed the 100-day mark at Battersea without a home.


    Battersea Old Windsor Centre Manager Kaye Mughal said: “Flash was in a very bad way when he first arrived at Battersea and he’s been incredibly brave throughout his recovery. He has never once lost his affectionate and charming nature and his tail has kept wagging. He looks like a different dog now and when you see him running around you would never know he’s been through such a terrible time, he’s a beautifully natured chap.


    “But it’s very sad that on top of everything else he’s having such a difficult time finding a home and has now been with us for over 100 days. He really needs a family to come forward and give him the second chance at life he so desperately needs. He’s a young dog but he’s been through so much and we really want to see his luck change for the better. Flash is looking for a home where he is the only dog, with people who have experience of owning sighthounds.”


    While the average stay for a dog at Battersea is 30 days, Flash is one of nine dogs currently at the Old Windsor centre who have been at the charity for over 100 days.


    Some of the Home’s other long-stay residents include Bluebell, a large, lovely natured two-year-old Mongrel who has been at Battersea for over a year; Bud, a gorgeous seven-year-old Lurcher, who is the Home’s longest-staying resident; Mable, an affectionate one-year-old mongrel; and Neo, a playful two-year-old Lurcher.  


    To find out how you can rehome Flash or any of Battersea Old Windsor’s other long-stay dogs, please contact 01784 494 443 or emailbow.rehomers@battersea.org.uk.

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    August 4th, 2016Laura P (Editor)Articles

    From long jumping Lurchers to hounds that can hurdle, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home are supporting the GB Team with their very own squad of animal athletes ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio next week.

    To celebrate the world’s biggest sporting spectacle, the world renowned charity are hoping their canine champions will win gold this summer and jump, swim or dive their way into new homes across the capital.

    Among the winning waggy tails is six year old Beau, Battersea’s ‘Sky’s the Limit’ high jumper. This 7 year old bouncy Springer Spaniel is a whirlwind of energy and is unstoppable when it comes to playing ball. He has a jump as extraordinary as his personality and is looking for active owners who are as enthusiastic about exercise as he is.

    Hero ‘The Hulk’ is a 7 year old Pug Beagle cross and has a passion for weightlifting. This quirky little guy prefers to train with his dog toys in quieter surroundings, so would be best suited to a home in a less built up area, without too much hustle and bustle. After being at Battersea for over 160 days he’s one of their longest stay residents and is desperate to show off his weightlifting skills to a new family soon.

    Battersea’s sensational swimmer – Tia ‘she don’t do doggy paddle’ Dogue de Bordeaux is a 3 year old gentle giant. Tia loves nothing more than a paddling pool to practise her swimming skills although there may need to be a pitstop to refill the tank once she’s splashed her way through it!

    RiaRia ‘The Brains’ is a 1 year old Border Collie and the ultimate hound for hurdles (left). A true working Collie at heart, she still has a few more hurdles to jump over before she’s ready for her new home but is looking forward to having an owner who can entertain both her energy and intelligence.

    Taz the ‘Thunderbolt’ Lurcher has most surely secured a mutt medal this summer for his super long jumping ability.  When he’s not stretching his legs and practising his jump in the sand this loving Lurcher is a big champion of cuddles. The finish line is in sight for Taz as his winning streak has seen Battersea staff pass the torch to new owners for him already.

    This paw-some team all arrived at Battersea after their owners could no longer care for them and are looking for a front row seat in a loving new home to tune into the Olympic Games this summer. Our animal athletes are powered by Mars Petcare UK who are proud to be Battersea’s preferred nutritional partner, providing the Home with Pedigree and Whiskas and helping to feed Battersea’s very own four legged GB stars.

    If any of these canine champions win gold for you and you can offer them a home please contact Battersea on 0843 509 4444 or visit battersea.org.uk.

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    July 25th, 2016Laura P (Editor)Uncategorized

    Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has called on the Government to review the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act in light of new research released today.

    The Charity’s report, What’s Breed Got To Do with It?marks the 25th anniversary of the introduction of the 1991 Act, which outlawed four breeds of dogs from the UK; the Pit Bull Terrier, the Dogo Argentino, the Japanese Tosa and the Fila Braziliero.

    Battersea and many other animal welfare organisations have long opposed Section 1 of the 1991 Act that judges a dog on its looks not its behaviour, and can see them destroyed if deemed by the Police to be a banned breed. There is also little evidence that the Act has reduced dog attacks or been successful in eradicating the Pit Bull Terrier in the UK.

    Last year Battersea took in 91 Pit Bull Terrier types, confirming the breeding and sale of these animals is still going on and has simply been pushed underground.

    The Home’s report also paints a stark picture of unnecessary euthanasia of certain breeds by law, based on their physical appearance, rather than what they have actually done.

    Claire Horton, Battersea’s Chief Executive, said:  

    “This new research by Battersea sets out the failings of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 in focusing on how a dog looks, rather than on anything the that it has done or the actions of its owner.

    “There are of course some dangerous dogs on our streets but for a quarter of a century this legislation has condemned too many innocent dogs to be put to sleep,  whilst systematically failing to reduce dog attacks in our communities.

    “Battersea is dismayed that this outdated, knee-jerk piece of legislation is still on the statute books. There is a clear need to replace it with a law that targets irresponsible owners.”

    In its new report, the leading animal welfare charity surveyed 215 of the UK’s professional canine behaviour experts on the factors which were most likely to cause a dog to attack a person.

    ·         74% said that breed was either irrelevant or only slightly important in determining dog aggression levels

    ·         Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) is flawed – the four breeds of dog outlawed by the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 were not directly identified as being the most frequently aggressive

    ·         Socialisation of a dog is critical, with 86% of experts highlighting the way it was brought up by its owner, and 73% identifying the way a dog was brought up by its breeder, as very important

    ·         Almost 89% dismissed the notion a dog’s size was a factor in its behaviour, as “not at all important”, or “not important”

    In addition:

    ·         78% of experts supported the compulsory training of new dog owners

    ·         77% wanted to see all breeders who sell dogs registered

    ·         98% believed adding more breeds to the banned list would have no effect in preventing further dog attacks

    Battersea is one of the few animal rescues that take in any dog regardless of its breed, age, or medical condition. The Home has taken in many hundreds of Pit Bull Terriers over the last five years alone. Of the 91 Pit Bull Terriers it took in last year, Battersea believes it could have rehomed at least 71% of them as family pets, due to their friendly and affectionate nature. Under the law Battersea is forced to put these dogs to sleep.

    The charity has documented 25 of the Pit Bull Terriers it had to put to sleep in the past year purely for their looks alone, and is publishing their photos today to show some of the innocent victims of this law.

    It must never be forgotten that the other victims are of course people who have been attacked by a dangerous dog of any breed and not protected by an ineffective law. Since 1991, there have been 30 dog attack fatalities involving 16 children and 14 adults. Meanwhile NHS Hospital Admission statistics show there were 7,227 hospital admissions for dog bites last year – a 6% increase year on year (a 76% increase over the last 10 years).

    Battersea’s legal consultant and dog law solicitor Trevor Cooper said: “This unique study has taken the wind out of the sails of those who still believe certain breeds of dog are inherently dangerous, and others are inherently safe.

    “This fallacy is the reason that so many perfectly harmless pets have been needlessly put to sleep since the introduction of the Dangerous Dogs Act.

    “It’s high-time that breed-specific legislation is repealed. Of course, there are dangerous dogs and the public must be protected from them, but assuming a dog is dangerous because of the way it looks just doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. This law must be repealed.”

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