By sharing knowledge and collaborating with others in animal welfare, we are improving standards of care worldwide.
LEADING THE WAY
Battersea is here for every dog and cat, not just those
we see in our centres. Our respected, authoritative and
influential voice has a proven record in bringing about
policy and legislative change to benefit animal welfare,
and 2018 was no exception. We had a wide range of
successes, including influencing the Government to
move forward on our campaign to increase maximum
sentences for animal cruelty to five years. We also
persuaded the Scottish Government to consult on the
issue, with a view to passing legislation later in 2019.
Our efforts to help dogs and cats outside our centres
continues to be a priority through the vital work we
are doing alongside other rescues to help animals
that have come from puppy farms or bad breeders.
In 2018 our Animal Partnerships team
worked with 32 other organisations,
receiving 401 dogs and 272 cats.
Rescues we work with included Crowfoot
Kennels, Feline Friends, Treetops,
Feline Cat Care.
While Battersea can provide expert care to the animals
that come to us, many rescue centres are less
fortunate. We began to provide training and financial
support to other organisations through the Battersea
Academy and our new grant giving programme.
We believe that through working together we can
help more dogs and cats in need.
With the launch of the Battersea
Academy, we are using our 158
years of knowledge and experience
to maximise the number of animals
across the world that benefit from the
Battersea way of doing things.
Cats and dogs everywhere are
facing a similar host of problems,
from straying and disease to the
consequences of being bred for profit.
However, these problems are felt at
vastly different magnitudes depending
on the region. In India, for instance,
there are around 30 million dogs living
on the streets. It would be impossible
for all these dogs to be taken in, and
the organisations currently helping
to alleviate the problem are often
stretched to breaking point.
Delivered at our London site, the
Academy is open to any dog and cat
rehoming or rescue organisation in
any location, from small volunteer-run
shelters to established rescues.
Several rescue and rehoming
centres participated in the
Battersea Academy in 2018,
with delegates from Croatia,
Australia and across the UK,
and we plan to share our expertise
with 40 organisations in the next
Alongside the Academy, Battersea’s
grant-making programme is a new
initiative that aims to support and
build ongoing relationships with
small animal rescues and shelters
with grants of between £3,000
and £15,000. In 2018, 24 grants
were awarded to 19 organisations,
impacting the standards of practice
and sustainability of rescue
organisations across the world and,
ultimately, helping them to help
many more dogs and cats.
One of our key strategic aims over the life of the 2019-2023 strategic plan is to help 150,000 animals through the Battersea Academy.
As a result of the learnings made on the
programme, the rescue has since made
changes to its cleaning regime, introduced
a traffic light system for tracking of cat
welfare, and started to use a waiting list
for cat intake rather than accepting every
cat immediately. These changes have
allowed staff to spend more time with
each of the cats in their care.
Having attended the programme,
Romney House was also able to apply
for an Academy Change Programme
Grant, which it used to refurbish one of
its cat houses.
As a result of attending the programme
and receiving the grant, Romney House
has now been made an official Animal
Partner, working with Battersea to
provide the best outcome for cats in
need of homes.
The Australian Animal Protection Society
also attended one of our first programmes
in June 2018, to coincide with the building
of their new centre. As a result of their
learning, the AAPS made the decision to
reduce the new centre’s occupancy rate
from 300 to 100 animals, to speed up
the rehoming time for both dogs and cats.
Construction of various new facilities is
still underway, but in the meantime the
AAPS have introduced a new tracking
system in their cattery, reducing their
rehoming time from 36 days to 16.
The Academy has also hosted
sessions for delegates from India,
with representatives from Friendicoes,
Let’s Live Together, Dharmasala Animal
Rescue, and Friends of Animals Kottayam
all benefitting from Battersea’s
knowledge and expertise.
Our Academy team will be keeping in
touch with all the delegates to find out
how they’re implementing their new
knowledge back at home.
PET FRIENDLY PROPERTIES
According to Government statistics,
eight million households in the UK
rent their homes, equalling 38%
of all households and this figure is
predicted to rise to 40% by 2025.
In London, the figure is even higher
at an expected 60% by 2025.
Unfortunately, ‘Generation Rent’
does not bring with it good news
for pets and their owners.
Residents in social housing are
particularly vulnerable to the
barriers surrounding pet ownership.
Although ‘no pets’ policies are
common in private rentals,
Battersea’s 2018 research has
revealed that 21% of London
Councils and 64% of the capital’s
largest Housing Associations ban
owning dogs in flats with no direct
garden or street access.
In November 2018, Battersea
launched a new ‘Pet Friendly
Properties’ campaign to help
reduce the number of social
housing tenants in London who
are forced to give up a beloved pet
or are denied the opportunity to
have a dog or cat in the first place
because of their housing situation.
Battersea offers Councils and
Housing Associations advice on
how they can review and improve
their own policies around pets.
We also offer training and advise
tenants looking to own a pet in
Many Local Authority dog wardens
struggle with limited training and
resources. We continued to support
Local Authorities across London –
and around our Old Windsor and
Brands Hatch centres – by providing
training and formal support to dog
wardens via the Stray Dog Support
is designed to help Local Authorities
and their kennel providers offer
excellent standards of care for
stray dogs. It has so far been
rolled out has been rolled out to
15 Local Authorities and their
kennel providers, bringing benefits
to 830 stray dogs.
One tenant who was affected by
Local Authority rules surrounding pet
ownership is Chloe*, who was forced
to bring her five-year-old Bichon Frise,
named Barge, into Battersea after her
London Housing Association flat came
under new management.
Chloe, who had owned Barge since he
was a puppy, was suddenly told she’d
have to give him up, as tenants were
no longer allowed to keep a dog in
their flats if they didn’t have a garden.
The decision came as a surprise;
Chloe had never had any complaints
about Barge and he was well-liked by
all her neighbours.
Luckily, Barge was happily rehomed
and is now enjoying life with his new
family. However, his story is just one
of countless examples that illustrate
why we are campaigning to make
pets welcome in social housing
If tenants were given
more flexibility around pet ownership,
it would end the worry and heartache
of not knowing if they’ll be able to
keep their pet – not to mention saving
countless pets ending up homeless in
BRINGING ABOUT POSITIVE CHANGE IN THE UK
Battersea’s work throughout 2018
also focused on our continued
aim to improve life for animals
across the UK. In April 2018, the
Government passed new regulations
surrounding the breeding and sale
of dogs, making it illegal to sell a
puppy or kitten under eight weeks
of age. This was in line with our
End Backstreet Breeding campaign.
Battersea also influenced the
Government’s decision to ban the
use of electronic shock collars on
dogs, and to put an end to third
parties - such as pet shops - selling
young dogs and cats to the public.
In 2018 we led the animal welfare
sector in tackling cat welfare issues
at a Parliamentary level, by setting
up the first ever All-Party Group
on Cats (APGOCATS) with Cats
Protection, initially to look at how
cats can help combat loneliness.
Battersea’s ability to influence
animal welfare policy is
strengthened by our Chief Executive,
Claire Horton, who is a strategic link
between Government and the animal
welfare sector. She champions the
sector as Non-Executive Director
on the Government’s Animal Health
and Welfare Board for England
(AHWBE), represents AHWBE on
the Canine and Feline Sector Group
(CFSG), holds the Chairmanship
of the Association of Dogs and
Cats Homes (ADCH), and sits as
a special advisor to the All-Party
Group on Animal Welfare (APGAW)
Phoebe arrived at Battersea’s London
centre as a stray after being found
wandering the streets of North London
with no owner in sight. The small
Staffordshire Bull Terrier was emaciated
but had very full mammary glands,
showing that she had recently given
birth to a litter of puppies. Her coat was
in poor condition with patches of hair
loss, she smelt badly, and, upon further
testing, our veterinary team discovered
she was anaemic due to being so
severely underweight. She also did not
have a microchip. It’s likely that Phoebe
was used for breeding so that her
puppies could be sold for profit, then
abandoned while she should still have
been nursing her young. This is a huge
ordeal for any dog to suffer, especially
one who was estimated to be only just
over one year old.
Following our campaigning for a
clampdown on unscrupulous and
unregulated backstreet breeders, we
were thrilled to see the passing of new
regulations in April 2018 that will now
protect dogs like Phoebe from being
used as breeding machines with no
regard for their welfare. Among the
measures now enshrined in law are a
requirement for anyone breeding more
than two litters of puppies to have a
licence, and for all online puppy adverts
to show the sellers licence details.
Importantly it is now illegal to sell any
puppy under eight weeks of age to
anyone. These changes came about
thanks to our End Backstreet Breeding
campaign and we are optimistic this
will now help clamp down on the cruel
practice of forcing dogs to live in horrible
conditions while giving birth to litter
Luckily for Phoebe, while at Battersea
she received the expert veterinary
care she so desperately needed and
soon began to regain weight. Despite
her tragic story, Phoebe recovered
well thanks to the dedicated care she
received from Battersea staff and her
foster carers, and was soon rehomed
to a new, loving family to begin her next
chapter in life.
It is now illegal to sell any puppy under eight weeks old to anyone.