Eight-year-old Laura is very kind and thoughtful to all animals, whether it's a baby bird who has tumbled from a tree, or a scary spider lurking in her bedroom. Her mum and dad decide that she is definitely responsible enough to have her very own puppy - so take her to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, where she meets Bertie the West Highland terrier. Poor Bertie hasn't been treated very well by his previous owners, so is very thin and frightened, with patchy fur. Laura wants to take Bertie home, look after him and make him bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Her big sister Leah can't understand why she doesn't prefer a pampered pooch to fit in her handbag, and Leah's snooty friends tease Laura in the park one day, but she doesn't care. Bertie is the best dog in the world! And when he sounds the warning and averts a house fire, can he persuade Leah to give him a chance, too?
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is a charity that aims never to turn away a dog or cat in need of our help. We reunite lost dogs and cats with their owners; when we can't do this, we care for them until new homes can be found for them; and we educate the public about responsible pet ownership. Every year the Home takes in around 12,000 dogs and cats. In addition to the site in south-west London, the Home also has two other centres based at Old Windsor, Berkshire, and Brands Hatch, Kent.