I was SO flippin’ excited last Friday. Why? No not because it was Friday and no, not because I ad a half day at work. The more important question, is WHY I had the half day off work. Well, I was going to pay a very special visit to Battersea Dogs and Cats home, to meet up with the very lovely Caroline Jack. She was going to give me and my photographer (AKA the better half) a tour of the home to meet some of the residents, and, talk about the brilliant things this amazing charity does for our four legged friends.
To say I was excited was an understatement. Battersea Dogs and Cars home have a very special place in my heart, I have for years been sponsoring a kennel there and for the past 3 years, me and the better half have had the privilege of attending their amazing Collars and Coats black tie event held yearly, where we come together to raise as much money as we can for this brilliant charity who solely rely on the public for donations – I can’t wait to go this year!!
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. Battersea Dogs and 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.
Here are some facts about Battersea Dogs and Cats home you probably didn’t know:
- In 2012 we cared for 5,880 dogs and 2,760 cats (about 9,000 animals a year)
- The Home usually has around 400 dogs and 150 cats across our three sites and on foster at any one time
- Average daily intake is 14 dogs and 7 cats
- 45% of dogs are strays
- 46% of dogs are gifts
- 46% of cats are strays
- 45% of cats are gifts
- We cared for 495 puppies aged 0-6 mnths in 2011
- In 2011 we cared for 454 dogs aged 7 or older, equal to 9% of all dogs. It was 9% in 2010.
- Average stay before rehoming is 45 days for a dog and 28 days for a cat
- It costs Battersea £13.5m a year to care for its dogs and cats
- It costs Battersea £24 per day to care for a dog and £15 for a cat
- In 2012 Battersea cared for 155 Section 1 dogs, all were Pit Bull types
- We have 313 staff and nearly 1000 volunteers tending to our three sites.
- In 2012 they used:
- 32,728kg of dry dog food and 1,116kg dry cat food
- 41,552 tins of dog food and 33,488 pouches of cat food
- 82,644 litres of cat litter
- 3,000 dog leads
- 57,600 Schmacko dog treat sticks
- 24,864 Dentastix dog chews
- 440 metres of Vetbed bedding
- 800,000 litres of disinfectant
Battersea NEVER put’s a healthy dog or cat down – they help rehabilitate and re-home most of the four legged friends who walk through their gates. Of course, sadly, not every dog/cat is so lucky, ones with aggression issues, pitbulls (an illegal breed), or ones who are not very well, those sadly will have to be put down humanely. 🙁 Sad times.
There are hundreds of people who apply to be a volunteer at this great home – but not everyone is lucky enough to get chosen to become one. Battersea Dogs and Cats home have a very stringent process of how they go about choosing the right volunteer and rightfully so – the volunteers are trusted with the looking after the homes most precious cargo – the four legged furry friends!
I wish I had the above sign in my house! Hahahha. 🙂
Of course, one of Battersea’s most famous cats is Larry, who was adopted by Prime Minister David Cameron to get rid of the mice at No10 Downing Street. Larry, has even got his own plaque in the home! Too cute!! 🙂 🙂 🙂
The better half is so lucky that he was there – I would have adopted Tommy, this gorgeous little Pomeranian puppy who arrived here with his sister (who has now been adopted). I think I am in LOVE! SANTA!! Help me out – bring me Tommy early please – i’ve been good.
Kita the Akita is a gorgeous girl who is 7- 10 years. Yet another beautiful resident of the home looking for her forever home. Kita doesn’t mind other dogs and could potentially live with cats, but she really would prefer to live by herself with her new owners/owner. She also needs a private garden. She’s also not too keen on being around children (sorry kiddos). She has such sad eyes – almost made me cry!
Juniper is a lovely young girl who is 1-2 years old – a Siberian Husky. She would need a garden and could potentially live with other dogs, but not cats (sorry meows). She is looking for a lifelong home too. Juniper says she could potentially live with teenage children and can be left alone for short periods of time.
Yet another sign we could benefit from to have in our house (for the better half of course! – my babies never need a chill out!!) Hahahaha. 🙂 🙂
Valerie is a resident kitty cat at the home who is a domestic short-haired between the ages of 7-10 years. She can’t bear the though of living with dogs (sorry woofs), doesn’t like the sound of living with another cat (sorry meows) but could potentially handle living with teenagers. She also needs outdoor access to stretch her legs and do some bird watching.
Jack is a shy little kitty cat who unfortunately had been bullied by neighborhood cats previously (neighborhood cats can be hard work sometimes!!) He might be able to live with teenagers, but he does not like dogs (sorry woofs) and not too keen on sharing the house with another cat (sorry meows) He, like Valerie, needs to have outdoor access so he can do a spot of bird watching, Most importantly though, he needs to live in an area with low cat population and dreams of the quiet life snuggled by your feet.
These will be up for adoption soon – we were fortunate enough (thank you Caroline!) to take a sneak peek at these wee ones before they were up for adoption. Sometimes, pregnant mothers come into the home and that’s how the home (sometimes) ends up with puppies. Other times, a girl dog (I hate calling them bitches) will have quite a few puppies and the owners cannot sell the little ones on and so, they end up here where the home will find the best homes possible for them.
The volunteers walk the dogs along the designated paths outside the home – making sure every pooch gets at least 2/3 walks a day. They also walk the doggies at Battersea Park – a stones throw away from the home.
Before the dogs get put into their respective kennels, they are put through their paces to make sure they are socialized with humans, other animals and not aggressive etc etc – there are 7 stages to these and its called ‘the assessment’.
There are volunteers that take the dogs out to designated paddocks and interact with the dogs there. We were lucky enough to meet this little one. She was so playful and cute – she is going to make someone very very happy soon!
This was a gorgeous Siberian Husky that just arrived in the morning. Unfortunately we were not allowed to play a little with him as he was too new – he had the most lovely eyes, one bright blue like the sea and the other brown. Shame we could only get on picture of him!
Here are what adopting a pet from the home will cost you:
This is inclusive of: Neutering, Micro Chipping, Initial Vaccinations, Flea treatment, Worming, Collar and Identification tags and 4 weeks per insurance.
Out of all the dogs and cats that live in the home, 46% of cats are strays and 45% of the doggies are strays, The rest are given up for various reasons, the most popular reasons for gifting are incapable of coping with the pet, ill health and simply not enough time to devote the the pet. The home never judges and accept the pets willingly, you can be sure they will do all they can to re-home every four legged friend that walks through their gates. It breaks my heart to hear that sometimes, people leave dogs tied up to the homes gates, or leave cats in boxes by the home *shakes head while seething with anger* – If, for whatever reason you cannot look after your pet – just bring it in the home – they wont bite you and are all lovely people there!!
Battersea Dogs and Cats home sees on average 6 cats and 8 dogs given to them daily. The average stay for a dog at the home is 35 days, while the average for a cat is 27 days. In 2012, the home re-homed 2280 cats and 2926 dogs – such amazing stuff these people do!!
Alas, it was time to goo home – I didn’t want to, by the babies were home and by that time, BG#1 would be looking at his paw-watch and waiting for his dinner. It was such a lovely day and I must give a special thanks to Caroline Jack from the PR team, who took time out of her already busy schedule to show us around.
Keep up the fantastic work guys – you all are so amazing at what your doing for the four legged friends who grace the home, truly inspirational! I couldn’t work here – I would bring all the dogs home and the better half would not be too pleased at a house full of doggies! Hahaha, 🙂 Its a thought though! 🙂
Till next time Battersea Dogs and Cats home – its been awesome!