The Battersea Academy is an
international centre of excellence in
animal welfare. Its aim is to educate
and empower rescue and rehoming
organisations from small volunteer run
shelters to established animal
rescues, to do the best for dogs and
cats with the resources they have.
In 2019, 204 delegates from 74
organisations attended a series
of week-long intensive and shorter
programmes. As well as those
from across the UK and Republic
of Ireland, delegates attended from
a further 17 countries, including
Cyprus, India, Italy, Romania and
South Africa. Many have already
put their learnings into practice,
by introducing new intake
processes, hygiene protocols
and assessment methods.
In July, the Academy hosted its most
internationally diverse programme
to date, with delegates from Malawi,
South Africa, Romania, India,
Sri Lanka, Cyprus and Portugal
attending our flagship Intensive
Rescue and Rehoming Programme.
The week was a fantastic success,
with delegate feedback of 100%
satisfaction for customer service
and 95% for facilitation and content.
CASE STUDY - REACHING RESCUES EVERYWHERE
Reaching Rescues Everywhere
One organisation that has benefited from
the Battersea Academy is Cheltenham Animal
Shelter, a charity that has been helping
animals since 1926.
After attending the one-week intensive
programme, delegates from Cheltenham
Animal Shelter returned to work ready to
implement their new learnings and make a
positive difference. As a priority, the charity
introduced shelter metrics and trained others
within their organisation on the topic.
This included recording key metrics
(occupancy, length of stay and departure)
with the aim of reducing occupancy within
By putting the strategies they had learnt
into place, occupancy was reduced by 60%
(60 dogs down to 25–35), which resulted
in the average length of stay going from 62
days to 32 days. It also improved the level
of care they are able to provide their dogs.
For example, increased daily walking time from
10–15 minutes to 45–60 minutes, reduced
noise levels, staff reporting less stress and
more time for valuable staff training.
Cheltenham Animal Shelter’s learnings from
the Academy programme have also resulted in
improved stress management for the animals
in their care, improved assessment and intake
processes, and a new rehoming process.
All of which are changes that it says would
not have been possible without participation
in the Battersea Academy. Nicky Spanswick,
Operations Manager at Cheltenham Animal
Shelter, says: “We would relive the Academy
tomorrow if we could as it was so inspiring
and a fantastic week.”
Battersea was chosen as the
first animal welfare charity to
feature in the Government’s
GREAT campaign, its most
promotional campaign to
showcase the best of our
nation and inspire people to
visit, do business, invest and
study in the UK.
The work of the Animal
Partnerships team remained
extremely important in 2019, and
throughout the year we continued to
work with other rescues across the
UK to pool resources and help more
animals. We took in 385 dogs and
181 cats from other animal rescues
across the UK in 2019, totalling
566 animals and equivalent to
10% of our total intake. Animal
Partners, including specialist
breed rescues, also received
some animals from Battersea
(predominantly dogs), on occasions
when their move to a new location
was considered likely to speed up
CASE STUDY - PAW PATROL
Layla was brought into Battersea when
her previous owners were unable to keep
She had experienced a turbulent start in
life, but her owners did the sensible thing by
bringing her into our care when they could no
longer provide a stable home.
When she arrived at Battersea, Layla was
extremely cautious of people and other dogs
but her boundless energy meant she caught
the attention of Battersea’s Working Dogs
Manager, Jeff Moore.
Jeff worked tirelessly on a training programme
for Layla, geared towards unlocking her
potential as a working dog. However, she was
still unable to get on around other dogs and
struggled with life at Battersea, so all efforts
were put into finding a suitable outlet for her.
Thames Valley Police were contacted and
Layla was taken along to their premises for an
assessment. Luckily, after all the dedication
and hard work Jeff had put into her training,
she passed her initial tests with flying colours
and stayed with Thames Valley Police from
that moment on, to continue her training and
begin her new life as a police dog.
The very next day, Battersea received a
video update of Layla playing with a group
of puppies also in training to be police dogs.
It seemed Layla had finally found her place
in the world.
Battersea is committed to helping
more dogs and cats by supporting
rescue and rehoming organisations
to do more with the often limited
resources they have available.
In 2019 we awarded 34 grants
through our Grant Giving
programme, which runs alongside
the Battersea Academy, totalling
£261,000. Of these, 29 went to UK
rescues and five to international
organisations. Thirteen went to
support organisations committed
to making changes to improve their
work, based on their learnings from
the Academy. Successful grant
recipients are required to monitor
the impact of the funding on the
animals in their care.
The largest grant was £15,000, the
smallest was £500, with an average
of £7,663. They funded equipment,
refurbishment, the purchase of
animal ambulances, and staff,
including vets and behaviourists.