Christmas day at Battersea

23 DECEMBER 2021

Every day is made special for the animals at Battersea, but over the festive period our amazing staff and volunteers go above and beyond to spread the Christmas cheer and make it magical.

Animals are cared for at our three Battersea centres 365 days a year, and Christmas Day is no exception. We spoke to some amazing people who will be spending their Christmas and festive season looking after our dogs and cats to find out what a Battersea Christmas is all about.

Lucy, a Rehoming and Welfare Assistant at Battersea

Hi Lucy! Tell us a bit about yourself, and what Christmas day is like at Battersea

My name’s Lucy and I’m a Rehoming and Welfare assistant. I work with our amazing dogs, and I’m based in the London centre.

Christmas day at Battersea is a lot like a normal day, but with some extra special festive cheer! This year I will be doing what I would normally be doing: cleaning out kennels, feeding and playing with the dogs and taking them on a nice Christmas day park walk in Battersea Park.

My favourite part of being at Battersea at Christmas is being with the dogs, giving them a festive fuss and sneaking them extra Christmassy treats.

We’ve heard this isn’t your first Battersea Christmas, do you have any special memories from Christmases past?

As well as all the amazing animals, my most special memories would probably be spending the time with my colleagues! We have a special Christmas lunch put on for us on the day itself, and it’s a really special thing being there and enjoying a Christmas meal together.

What's it like spending time with the animals on Christmas Day?

It’s extra special spending time with the dogs on Christmas day. I feel quite lucky! They get all these treats and even more love and attention, and they don’t even really understand why, which makes it lovely and that bit more special.

Thanks Lucy! Before you go, what’s your top festive TV, Book or Film recommendation?

It has to be A Christmas Carol, or my ultimate favourite Christmas film: Home Alone 1.

Sarah, a Volunteer at Battersea

Hi Sarah! Tell us a bit about yourself, and what it’s like volunteering at Battersea over the Christmas period.

Hello! My name’s Sarah and I’m a cattery socialisation volunteer (CSV) at Battersea’s Old Windsor centre. I will be there on December 28th this year to help to brighten up that strange quiet period that comes between Christmas and New Year. By that point the cats will have had their presents and most likely have played more with the wrapping paper and empty boxes than the carefully chosen contents, but cats will be cats! I’m sure that they all realise Christmas is coming because for the weeks in the lead up many of the toys and blankets we provide in the pens take on a decidedly festive theme. Lots of pudding-shaped balls, squidgy Santas and decidedly elf-like mice appear from nowhere.

Is this your first Battersea Christmas? If so, what are you looking forward to?

Yes, this will be the first time I’ve volunteered at Battersea over the Christmas period. All the staff are so lovely all year round, I can’t imagine how they could be any warmer and accommodating, but I won’t be surprised to experience some extra magic! I’m also planning to wear something a little special myself to add to the festive atmosphere, but no spoilers here.

What's it like spending time with the animals, especially at Christmas?

I am really looking forward to sharing some time with the cats and showing them all lots of love. After all, isn’t that what Christmas is all about? So many of them give so much love right back and that is truly heart-warming. It’s such a rewarding experience all year round, and I am so proud to be a Battersea volunteer.

Thanks Sarah! Before you go, what’s your top festive TV, Book or Film recommendation?

My all-time favourite Christmas movie is Gremlins. I watch it every year, and the music over the opening credits is my confirmation that Christmas has arrived! Speaking of music, it’s got to be Michael Buble’s “Christmas” album. It’s in the car right now so I will be listening to it next time I drive to the Old Windsor centre.


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