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In need of a loving home... a cute kitten who looks like Ed Sheeran, Richard Gere and Bruce Forsyth's 'doggelgangers'

By Rebecca Black

Richard Gere, Ed Sheeran and Bruce Forsyth may not be some of the faces you would expect to find in a Co Down animal sanctuary - but you may be very surprised at a trip to Assisi.

The Conlig centre is home to some of the most adorable pets in the province, but did you know that several of its fluffy little charges also bear a remarkable resemblance to celebrities?

So much so that Scamper - a 10-year-old terrier cross - caught the eye of TV presenter Christine Bleakley and her footballer fiancé Frank Lampard during a visit to the centre last week. His deep brown soulful eyes and chiselled face are incredibly similar to Hollywood heartthrob Gere. However, this little chap has had rather less luck in life than the actor, having been returned to Assisi recently after being deemed unsuitable for his elderly owner.

The animal welfare centre said he is still available for rehoming, and is best suited to a quiet home where he can get out for walks and have plenty of cuddles.

Christine, from Newtownards, Co Down, and Frank were welcomed to the centre by manager Heather Weatherup when they met Scamper. However, while Christine enjoyed meeting some of the animals - including rabbits, cats and guinea pigs - at Assisi, she did not adopt any on that visit.

Assisi rescues many of its residents from pounds or takes them in from members of the public. Some of the animals are simply left at their front gates. It is currently caring for several litters of puppies rescued from a puppy farm in Co Tyrone. Three-year-old Shih Tzu Reba was among those saved in the USPCA raid.

However, look a little closer and see if she reminds you of anyone... maybe legendary TV host Bruce Forsyth?

Over in the kitten unit, nine-week-old Jake boasts the same distinctive fluffy hairstyle, big eyes and colouring as pop star Ed Sheeran. Lucky Jake has already been booked for adoption and is looking forward to going to his new home this week.

Meanwhile, there were also some sterner faced residents such as two-year-old Dachshund/King Charles cross Jill who can't help but remind you of TV terror Anne Robinson. However, unlike Anne, Jill is a shy, timid girl and seeks some loving gentle owners.

And six-year-old black Labrador cross Steve has reminded some of Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly, with his distinctive eyes and eyebrows.

If you are interested in rehoming a rescue dog, you can contact Assisi at 1 Old Bangor Road, Conlig, Newtownards. You can also phone (028) 9181 2622, visit assisi-ni.org online or email info@assisi-ni.org

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