In order to help more dogs and cats, we’re setting up Battersea Communities to enable us to work with local people in areas where we don’t have rehoming centres.
Our first two Communities are Guildford, Surrey and Ashford, Kent; where we’ll be holding events, educating people about why rescue is best and rehoming dogs and cats - all with the help of some amazing volunteers who are caring for dogs and cats within their homes, until they find a new family.
By 2023 we hope to have established ten Communities which would help us to rehome an additional 2,000 animals. Watch this space for details of where our next Community will be or continue reading to see how you can get involved!
We have two types of volunteering opportunities available in each of our Communities:
- Community Rehoming Volunteer - Animal lovers who live locally who can provide a temporary home for our dogs and cats until they find a loving family of their own.
- Community Volunteer - Animal lovers who live locally and are able to offer some of their time to help us at events in the Guildford or Ashford areas (such as local shows and community events).
Community Rehoming Volunteers
Becoming a Community Rehoming Volunteer and temporarily opening your home to a Battersea dog or cat means that you are providing invaluable care for animals who really need that second chance.
Sign up to become a Community Rehoming Volunteer in Guildford or Ashford Communities using the links below:
Dog rehoming volunteer
Cat rehoming volunteer
What is involved?
Community Rehoming Volunteers will provide all the basics of care for the animal, such as feeding, cleaning, exercising (dogs), grooming, training, playing and socialising, and must be willing to follow our guidance and regulations on training and safety.
Community Rehoming Volunteers are encouraged to play an active role in finding a home for the animal in their care. This is likely to involve taking photos and videos that can be used to promote rehoming, attending organised events to promote rehoming, sharing social media posts, talking to members of the public about the animal in their care, displaying rehoming flyers at suitable locations in their local community and handing out Animal Network Officer business cards to individuals interested in rehoming.
Can I become a Community Rehoming Volunteer?
It is beneficial if you’ve had experience with dog and cat ownership. However, it is not essential. A willingness to follow our advice and guidance is the most important thing.
Community Rehoming Volunteers provide an additional way for Battersea to help more dogs and cats. By looking after a Battersea animal, Community Rehoming Volunteers provide for their welfare needs, create rehoming opportunities where Battersea’s centres pose a barrier (e.g. travel, opening hours etc.), and spread the word about rescue in their local community.
Ideally, we would like our Community Rehoming Volunteers to commit to us on a long-term basis to ensure our animals are provided with a stable environment. Looking after an animal on a temporary basis is a very rewarding experience especially when you see them go to their loving home. It is, however, different to rehoming. If you are interested in owning a dog or cat permanently find out how to rehome a dog or rehome a cat.
What are the requirements?
We do ask that our Community Rehoming Volunteers:
- Preferably live within (or close to) the following postcodes:
- Guildford: GU1-12, GU14-17, GU21-24.
- Ashford (Kent): TN23-30
- Do not have any young children in the household, but those with older children will be considered (Dogs - 13 years old and over. Cats - 9 years old and over).
- Ideally have no other dogs and cats in the home. Some of our animals are not comfortable with other pets.
- Have access to a car in case the dog or cat in your care needs veterinary attention.
- Look after a Battersea animal until the point of rehoming, which may require commitment over a period of time.
- (Dogs) Preferably have a secure garden - although this is not absolutely necessary if you have nearby green space
- (Cats) Have a secure spare room. It is important that our cats have somewhere comfortable and quiet, away from busier parts of the home. This gives our cats a chance to gain confidence at their own pace
- (Dogs) Are in a position to not leave the dog in your care alone for more than 4 hours at a time
All our Community Rehoming Volunteers need to be compassionate, empathetic and adaptable to the needs of the individual animals that come into their care, as they are all unique.
Why are Community Rehoming Volunteers needed?
There are some dogs and cats that do not get rehomed as quickly as others and stay at our centres for longer periods of times. Battersea Communities will enable dogs and cats to go to temporary homes out in the community where more visibility to the public and a different approach to rehoming could result in a loving home being found relatively quickly.
All cats and dogs that go out to our Community Rehoming Volunteers will have been deemed ready to be rehomed by our veterinary clinic and rehoming teams.
What are the benefits?
Our Community Rehoming Volunteers tend to be people who really love animals but are not in a position, for one reason or another, to have one full time. Community rehoming enables people to have animals in their lives, but without the full-time commitment.
Although Community rehoming may be challenging and can require a lot of commitment, it is extremely rewarding to see your Battersea animal blossom and then go on to be successfully rehomed.
We ensure that our Community Rehoming Volunteers receive ongoing support and behaviour training. In addition, we make sure to provide you with everything your Battersea animal will need including food, equipment and any necessary veterinary treatment.
We will soon be recruiting Community Volunteers – animal lovers who live locally and are able to offer some of their time to come and help us at events in the Guildford and Ashford areas.
The types of events volunteers will be able to support us at are local shows e.g. Surrey/Kent County Show, educational workshops/talks and community events e.g. to promote our animals available for rehoming and to offer opportunities for local people to get together and make new friends.
If you are interested in rehoming an animal from our Guildford or Ashford, Kent Communities, please contact us by email and we can provide you with more information and discuss the animals we have available for rehoming.
We have now restarted our programme of events and currently attend/host the following events:
Guildford Farmers Market – first Tuesday of each month (10am-3pm), Guildford High Street
We will be at Guildford Farmers Market to advertise the presence of Battersea in the area, pet rehoming opportunities, upcoming events, and our volunteering opportunities.
Our Let’s Get Together event – third Thursday of each month (10am-12pm), Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford
A social event held on a monthly basis for pet lovers to meet up with other likeminded individuals, meet some dogs, and learn more about the work of Battersea.
Rehoming drop-in session – (details to be confirmed here)
An opportunity to ‘drop in’ and talk to our staff about animals that are available for rehoming in the local Community.
We will also be in attendance at various local shows throughout each year in both the Guildford and Ashford area.
If you would like to know more about our events, please contact us by emailing BatterseaCommunities@battersea.org.uk.
Let’s Talk Battersea – educational talks about Battersea
If you are a group, organisation/business or educational establishment in the Guildford or Ashford (Kent) area and would like a talk from Battersea, please email BatterseaCommunities@battersea.org.uk and we can arrange this for you.