Battersea Dogs and Cats Home

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Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is the UK's oldest and most famous home for dogs and cats and is situated in the Battersea area of London, England. It is financed by voluntary donations with an income of almost £12.2 million in 2010.


Formerly the 'Temporary Home for Lost and Starving Dogs', it was established in Holloway in 1860 by Mary Tealby. The home moved to Battersea in 1871 opposite Battersea Park and has a view of the iconic Battersea Power Station.

In 1885, Queen Victoria became Patron of the home, and it has remained under Royal Patronage ever since. Elizabeth II is the current Patron, and Prince Michael of Kent is the President.

In 2002, the name was changed from 'The Battersea Dogs Home' to 'The Battersea Dogs and Cats Home' (cats were first admitted in 1883).

To mark its 150th anniversary in 2010, the Royal Mail released a set of stamps featuring a series of dogs and cats that had been adopted by staff. It has also launched a commemorative book "A Home Of Their Own" which charts the history of the Home. This includes a look at the notables who have adopted animals, such as Elton John, who credited his pet, Thomas, with helping him through a rough period. Through 2011 and 2012, Battersea implemented the "Staffies ~ They're Softer Than You Think" campaign to educate the public about the positive attributes of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.


Its aims as a charity are never to turn away a dog or cat in need of help. They reunite lost dogs and cats with their owners; when they can’t do this, they care for them until new homes can be found for them. They also educate the public about responsible pet ownership.

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.


  • Battersea Dogs & Cats Home cared for 5,941 dogs and 2,963 cats in 2011 (about 9,000 animals a year)
  • Battersea Dogs & Cats Home usually has around 450 dogs and 150 cats across its three sites and on foster at any one time.
  • The Home’s average daily intake is 14 dogs and 8 cats.
  • The average stay for dogs is 45 days, and for cats is 28 days across all three sites. There is no time limit and it is usual for an animal to stay until its adoption.
  • 2,705 dogs were rehomed in 2011
  • 2,550 cats were rehomed in 2011
  • Across all three sites, the Home employs approximately 331 members of staff in a range of operational and administrative roles.
  • There are currently 616 volunteers working in the Home. They carry out a range of functions including walking the dogs and socialising with both the dogs and cats, gardening, kennel support, admin and leading education talks.Template:Citation needed)


For many years, the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home has been the centre of many TV programmes in the UK.

TV programmes

The Channel 4 programme Pet Rescue, which aired in 1997 featured Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. The BBC One show Animal Rescue Live was broadcast live for a week at Battersea in 2007.

Since 2012, the multi-award winning documentary programme Paul O'Grady: For the Love of Dogs has aired on ITV, presented by Paul O'Grady.

Patrons and ambassadors

Queen Elizabeth II is the patron of the charity.

Author Jacqueline Wilson has been a supporter of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home for many years and is currently an ambassador for the charity.

Since 2012, model David Gandy and presenter Paul O'Grady have been celebrity ambassadors of the home.

After presenting the annual Battersea Ball alongside Paul O'Grady, actress and talent show judge Amanda Holden became an ambassador of Battersea in 2013.

Celebrity Friends

Celebrity friends of the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home include footballer Michael Owen who carried the 2012 Olympic torch through the home, actor David Hasselhoff and Britain's Got Talent winners Ashleigh and Pudsey.<ref name="BatterseaCelebrities">Template:Cite web</ref>

In 2013, athlete Greg Rutherford took part in a Celebrity episode the ITV game show The Cube, he won £10,000 for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

Famous Animals

  • Larry the cat - Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office<ref name="BatterseaCelebrities" />


There is a Battersea Shop at the London branch as well as online at the website. On 30 January 2014, Penguin published a book by Battersea called Lost & Found: True Tales of Love and Rescue with a foreword by Paul O'Grady, MBE.


The Chief Executive and Company Secretary is Claire Horton, assisted by several directors, reporting to the Council of Trustees (Chairman: Heather Love, Vice Chair: Bradley Viner) which reports to the eighty Charity Life Members at its AGM every June.


The Home receives no government funding and is run almost entirely on donations from the public.

See also

  • The Blue Cross
  • Dogs Trust
  • National Animal Welfare Trust
  • PDSA
  • Humane Society of the United States
  • Women and animal advocacy



External links