More pets abandoned since the start of the financial crisis

The number of animals being abandoned has soared by 65 per cent since 2007, when the global financial crisis hit.

Weeds grow on the grounds of the Walthamstow greyhound dog racing stadium, which was closed in 2008

Going to the dogs! Duncan Smith blasts Johnson over Walthamstow track decision

Iain Duncan Smith delivered a stinging rebuke to Boris Johnson’s Conservative leadership aspirations after the London Mayor approved a scheme to turn the Walthamstow dog track in east London into flats.

Buster, cavalier King Charles spaniel, six years old, the first dog Casteel photographed underwater

Underwater dogs: Man's best friend as never seen before

It gives serious dogs a big smile and makes silly dogs look… well, barking , frankly. Matthew Bell discovers what happened when the photographer Seth Casteel played a very wet game with a pack of man’s best friends.

Gilly Chisholm and Weimaraner, on Hampstead Heath

Wonderland: Walking with Dogs, BBC2 Monday
Getting on, BBC4, Wednesday
The Great British Bake Off, BBC2, Tuesday

Dog-owners reveal their pet loves and pained souls in a sad and beautiful documentary

Last night's viewing - Walking with Dogs: a Wonderland Special, BBC2; Paul O'Grady: for the Love of Dogs, ITV1

"My view is dogs are people too," said Marianne, at the beginning of Vanessa Engle's Wonderland film about the dog-walkers of Hampstead Heath. My view, in the interests of full disclosure, is that they're not. So I approached Walking with Dogs with a certain wariness.

Five-minute memoir: Elson Quick reminisces on a trip to Thailand

I'm hungry. The day clears its throat. A cockerel's dusty bluster, a furry rip of motorised scooter exhaust, and from some high weed-throttled loudspeaker, the nasal megaphone of traditional song, impossibly nostalgic for a life I don't know.

Scotland striker Jordan Rhodes

Huddersfield striker Jordan Rhodes set to complete big money transfer to Blackburn

Jordan Rhodes is set to complete a move from Huddersfield to Blackburn today that will break the record transfer fee received by Town.

Martin Allen has thought better of his old fire-breathing style of management – and Gillingham are firing

Allen turns from a raging Mad Dog into a canny old pussycat

Fire-breathing management style has gone – and it works at Gillingham, says Glenn Moore

Five-Minute Memoir: Jonathan Trigell recalls a childhood attack on his dad's beloved beans

When I was a boy, I loved books and I hated beans. My dad adored beans. Especially his beans: runners, grown on bamboo poles, that should have made excellent wigwam structures, but instead would provide endless months of hairy, stringy, mottled, tooth-clogging torture; or so it seemed to me.

Man spared jail over sex with dog

A father of three who had sex with his ex-wife's bull mastiff dog was spared a prison sentence today.

Main jailed after neglected dog was forced to survive by eating other pet's remains

A man has been jailed after leaving two Jack Russell dogs to fend for themselves for more than a month, resulting in one starving to death and the other surviving by eating its remains, the RSPCA said.

Royalty dogs might have an exceptional lifestyle, but they can be a bit aggressive after all

Beware of the royally spoilt dogs

Who's a naughty boy, then? The Queen's corgis stand accused of attacking Max, a Norfolk terrier belonging to her granddaughter Princess Beatrice, almost tearing the 11-year-old pooch's ear off.

Dangerous dog owners to face tougher penalties

Owners of dangerous dogs which attack people in public will face stiffer penalties from today, including up to 18 months in prison.

Family appeal for information on missing climber Felix Marr

The family of a British man who has been missing for almost a week after disappearing on his way down a mountain overlooking Lake Garda in Italy have appealed for witnesses to come forward with any clues to his whereabouts.

Five Questions About: Pet insurance

Why do I need to insure my pet?

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Independent Travel
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
South Africa
Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas