RESCUE IS OUR
In 2019, Battersea’s own research
found that while 92% of people
say they believe rescue is the right
thing to do, only 25% of dog and cat
owners got their most recent pet
from a rescue centre.
We’ve set ourselves an ambitious
strategic goal – to disrupt
established pet-buying patterns
and bring rescue front of mind for
the UK public. To do so, we need
to change the way people view all
aspects of rescue, and we need
to do it in a way that causes a
generational shift in perceptions.
In October 2019, we launched
‘Rescue Is Our Favourite Breed’, a
groundbreaking new campaign to
celebrate the inimitable characters
and quirks of rescue dogs and cats.
Our aim is to get people to see
rescue as the best choice when
getting a dog or cat, and to come to
rescue centres with an open mind
about the type of dog or cat they
want to go home with.
During the first run of our new
TV advert, we reached 34 million
adults (69% national reach)
and visits to the Battersea
website increased 29% year-on-year.
To date, the campaign has
delivered positive results, with
one in three people recalling it
when prompted with the name and
almost half (48%) when shown
Seventy-three per cent of survey
respondents agreed ‘seeing
the adverts has made me more
motivated to rehome from a
CASE STUDY - STILL ANOTHER
EIGHT LIVES LEFT
Still another eight lives
Cricket was an extremely emaciated kitten
when he was found inside a cat carrier with
a note that read: “Help me please.”
When Cricket was brought into Battersea’s
London centre, vets weren’t sure if the tiny
kitten was even still alive. Estimated to be
around five months old, weighing less than
half the healthy weight he should have been,
and with two bowed front legs, it was touch
and go for young Cricket.
After weeks of intensive care, shared between
a dedicated team of expert foster carers from
the cattery team at Battersea, Cricket pulled
through and slowly started to gain weight,
with some of his fur growing back.
Although he continued to have bowed legs, he
gradually became a playful and affectionate
cat, who loved nothing more than cuddling
on staff and volunteers’ laps. Little Cricket
survived because he was given the best care
possible, 24 hours a day.
Luckily, Cricket’s story has a happy ending.
After falling in love with him at first sight,
his new owner, Anna from Hampshire,
took him home, and gave him a more
fitting name: Hunter.
Anna recalls, “I wanted to rehome a rescue
cat because I feel that they really need your
love and care having had a tough start in life.
I’d had Hunter for a couple of months before
his hair just started to grow and grow. His tail
is so fluffy, long and upright that it actually
touches his head. Much to my surprise, he
grew into a beautiful Maine Coon with a
Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs continued
to raise the profile of rescue, with
viewing figures for series eight and the
Christmas Special at 42m. It picked
up a third National Television Award
for Factual Entertainment (previously
won in 2013 and 2014) and continues
to champion rescue dogs to worldwide
audiences. £81,715 was raised online
and 20,000 new social media followers
were gained during the latest series.
Battersea’s celebrity supporters
and Ambassadors continued to
provide an incredible public voice
for Battersea throughout 2019.
They did this by championing our
work, taking part in our campaigns
and events, visiting our centres and
talking about their own Battersea
pets in interviews or through
their own channels. Last year, we
announced our seventh official
Battersea Ambassador, actor Tom
Hardy, and welcomed 35 celebrities
to our centres.
We focused on creating social
media content during these visits,
setting up rehoming videos with our
animals to showcase the overlooked
breeds and older dogs and cats in
our care. These videos can achieve
a huge impact for our animals and
help us to speak to new audiences.
Greg James’ rehoming video with
Greyhound Jill reached 97,000
people, and was viewed over 27,000
times within the first 24 hours. After
spending 157 days in our kennels,
Jill found a home within days after
this video went live.
Many of our Battersea Ambassadors
and celebrity supporters also
supported the launch of the Rescue
Is Our Favourite Breed campaign.
Those who shared the campaign
on their own social media channels
included David Gandy (114k Twitter
followers and 973k Instagram
followers) and Ricky Gervais
(13.4m Twitter followers).
A big part of our mission to reframe
rescue revolves around creating new
content and opportunities to reach,
inform and inspire young people.
We have worked with a range of
creators and influencers across
the year to help us spread the
message of rescue to future
generations of pet owners. This
includes engaging eight YouTubers
to support the launch of Instagram’s
Donate Sticker, a new tool that
allows people to donate to a charity
through a one-click button on
Instagram. We also hosted visits
by YouTube superstars Dan and
Phil, and worked with British
Athletics to announce their team
for the World Championships.
Thanks to continued efforts, we
added over 100k social media
followers in 2019, and in October,
Battersea was awarded the Charity
Times Award for Best Social Media