As Queen Elizabeth II marks a milestone as Britain's longest-serving sovereign, we take a look at Her Majesty's role as patron of several organizations that have a dogged determination to enrich the lives of dogs and cats in need:
Animal Health Trust -- A tree planted by the monarch in 2009 at Newmarket Animal Health Trust stands not only in honor of Animal Health Trust's founder, but also as a living symbol of the Queen's visit as she marked a half century of support for the veterinary charity as its royal patron. Following in her mother's footsteps, in 1991 HRH Princess became president of the organization, which has created life-saving and life-enhancing treatments and vaccines for ill or injured dogs, cats and horses since its start in 1942.
Battersea Dogs and Cats Home -- 1885 Queen Victoria became the first royal patron of the charitable organization known today as Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. In 1956, the royal who has now surpassed her record as the longest-reigning monarch took over the title. Marking one of the acclaimed animal welfare charity's crowning achievements, in 2015 the Queen and Prince Philip paid a visit to Battersea's London facility to tour the brand new Mary Tealby Kennels, named in honor of the organization's founder.
Battersea Dogs and Cats Home's longstanding relationship with the royals also includes support from Prince Michael of Kent, who stepped into the role of the charity's president in 1984 and has attended many of the organization's fundraising functions. Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall, has also helped the organization which cares for more than 8,000 companion animals each year by officially opening the charity's cattery in 2010 , and by welcoming two Battersea rescue puppies (Jack Russell Terriers Bluebell and Beth) into the royal family.
Dogs Trust -- Devoted to her many Corgi companions over the years, in Queen Elizabeth's eyes dogs rule! In 1990 Her Majesty took on the title of patron of Dogs Trust, the largest welfare charity devoted to canines in the UK. In 1994 the sovereign with a soft spot for Spots officially opened the registered charity's West Calder branch in Scotland, while in 2009 Princess Anne stepped in for her mother to open the organization's Snetterton branch.
Fans of Fidos and floral finery who visit Dogs Trust 18th rehoming center in Loughborough-- which opened its doors in June 2012 to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee-- can take a stroll in the center's Jubilee garden, where botanical beauty highlights plaques which pay homage to every barking buddy who has brightened the Queen's days over the course of her lifetime.
RSPCA -- Queen Victoria put the "royal" in the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and the current Queen continues the tradition through her support for the charity which reigns as the world's oldest and largest animal welfare organization. Established in 1824, today several high-profile pals of those with paws also use their star wattage to shine a spotlight on animal welfare issues through their roles as Vice-Presidents, among them Queen guitarist Brian May, actor Brian Blessed and comic Bill Oddie.
Over the course of her reign the monarch has also been moved by the efforts of other such Rover-related organizations as The Kennel Club, The Labrador Retriever Club and The Yellow Labrador Club, of which she is also patron.
Following the Queen's lead, other members of the royal family have also shown their support for pup-themed paws causes with their patronage. Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall, champions the work of Medical Detection Dogs, The Animal Care Trust and The Langford Trust for Animal Health and Welfare, while Princess Anne applauds the efforts of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People and The Royal Army Veterinary Corps.