Furbo AI Technology Helps Battersea Care For Animals in Need

09 DECEMBER 2020

Here at Battersea, we see animals of all shapes and sizes come through our doors, each with their own unique quirks and character.

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Whether it be some extra training to show off their best side to new potential owners, helping them overcome issues like separation anxiety, or even keeping them calm and comfortable while they wait for a new home, Battersea staff work tirelessly to ensure every animal gets the tailored support they need.

Over the years, Battersea staff have helped build a brighter future for millions of dogs and cats. We are constantly exploring new ways to help the animals in our care and over the last few years have been lucky enough to be able to incorporate new technology such as the Furbo Dog Camera into our care routines to help us be there for every dog and cat in exactly the way they need. Let’s take a look at just some of our favourite success stories.

6-year-old Wylie, who just needed a little help to shine

Wylie a black and brown staffy cross

The handsome Wylie had his fair share of admirers during his time at Battersea. He wasn’t a big fan of being in his kennel though, and people who came to visit him worried that he would bark all day in a new home.

Our staff knew that Wylie just needed a little help to show the world his bright and inquisitive personality, so decided to keep him occupied and teach him some eye-catching tricks.

Using a Furbo dog camera, Wylie was taught to ring a bell for a treat, which soon became a real crowd-pleaser and staff were able to reward him for performing his trick without even being in the kennel. To visitors, Wylie was performing his trick just for them, and as far as Wylie was concerned he was being rewarded for his positive behaviours, so he kept on ringing the bell, and winning plenty of hearts.

We also captured footage of Wylie performing his trick to share on our Battersea social channels, and it was there he won the most important heart. After seeing Wylie perform his trick on social media, Darren contacted us for more information, and after going through the rehoming process was able to offer him his loving new home.

3-year-old Sally who didn’t like being on her own

Sally a grey and white greyhound

The lovely Sally came in to us as an ex racing greyhound and spent quite a lot of time waiting for a new home.

Greyhounds are often misunderstood, which can lead to them being overlooked, but Sally eventually found a new home, only to find herself being brought back to our London centre due to her separation anxiety.

Once back in kennels at Battersea, staff started to notice the telltale signs of separation anxiety appearing once more, so turned to Furbo to help put Sally at ease.

Staff used Furbo technology to dispense a treat just after they had left Sally’s kennel. This meant that she began to associate people leaving, with good things happening. They were also able to film Sally’s behaviour in one of our cosy home rooms, which simulates a home environment, and dispense treats to reward calm behaviour and positive interaction with her toys and her surroundings while she was left alone.

Sally’s training plan worked wonders and she became visibly more relaxed. Battersea staff found a routine which really worked for Sally, and were delighted that she soon found a great new home. They were also able to pass on all the tricks they’d learned to help Sally’s new owners, which meant that this time she was happy to stick around.

Stressed-out animals who aren’t fans of ringing in the New Year

A stressed dog on NYE

New Year’s Eve is often a time of celebration, but for lots of animals, the noise of fireworks and rowdy crowds can be quite overwhelming. During a recent New Year's Eve, dedicated members of Battersea staff team stayed onsite at our London centre in order to monitor the behaviour of dogs when fireworks are set off.

Using Furbo cameras they were able to monitor dogs first on a normal night, with no fireworks or scheduled loud noises, and then compare that to their behaviour on New Year’s Eve.

On evenings when fireworks are likely to go off, staff at our centres cover up outward-facing windows with blankets, and leave music playing to try and reduce the noise and flashes that may worry dogs as standard. By monitoring specific behaviours with the cameras, they were also then able to introduce extra measures for those who needed it.

Staff could see that some dogs weren’t bothered by the sounds at all, and they behaved in a similar way on both nights they were observed, while others were visibly more stressed and required some extra attention. This kind of information not only allows staff to help animals during their time at Battersea, but also means they get a better understanding of what kind of home they would be suited to, and can then pass this information on to their loving new owners.

Technology like Furbo not only helps Battersea tailor individual training plans, it also helps us monitor dogs and get a better understanding of their personalities, likes and dislikes. This means we are able to make changes to their environment and adapt their care both while they’re with us and when they go off to their new homes, and means we can truly help the dogs who need us most.

From 1 December to 15 January, Furbo will kindly be donating £8.25+ vat from the sale of every Furbo Dog Camera to Battersea.

To find out more, visit the Furbo website.

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