When I became Deputy Lord Mayor, my principal motivation was the privileged opportunity I knew it would give me to glimpse aspects of community life in Oxford and the rest of the county of which otherwise I’d be ignorant.
One such event took place this afternoon, when I attended the annual blessing service at the Oxfordshire animal sanctuary in Stadhampton.
I’m scarcely a zoophile, but it would take a heart of stone not to be moved by the work that is done there.
In the past year, the sanctuary has taken in almost 500 dogs, cats, rabbits and guinea pigs, and re-homed over 400 of them. Impressive stuff.
Here’s me displaying my oh-so-natural affinity for furry pets with one of the friendliest I met today. After a bit of a mutual suspicion stand-off we got on just fine.