Is it appropriate for Battersea to be rehoming animals at this time?
These are difficult and uncertain times for all, but we know that there will always be people looking for a lifelong companion and we always encourage potential pet owners to think rescue first. We have worked together with the rescue sector to come up with new guidelines that will enable us to responsibly rehome the homeless animals in our care, whilst continuing to adhere to the latest Government guidelines on social distancing. Following these guidelines, rescue centres up and down the country will now be able to find a positive outcome for many more dogs and cats, whilst continuing to promote responsible rehoming.
Battersea will continue to follow its normal rehoming procedure to assess the motivations and suitability of new owners and will additionally consider the impact of Government restrictions on new owners. For example, all homes for dogs should have outside space to allow exercise if dog walking is not a permitted activity.
Is it safe for Battersea staff to be rehoming animals at this time?
The welfare of our staff, volunteers, and our animals will always be our priority, and we have introduced a number of measures to help protect both our customers and our staff and ensure our staff feel comfortable delivering our animals to new homes. These include:
- Delivering animals to their new homes in a secure way which allows for the new owner to meet the animal whilst maintaining at least a two-metre distance between our staff and new owners.
- Introducing our animals to potential new owners using video footage and video calls.
- Ensuring our staff have personal protective equipment including protective gloves, face masks, and overshoes.
- Using the handover protocol agreed by the Canine and Feline Sector group (CFSG) made up of the UK’s well known animal charities and veterinary bodies, which can be seen at the CFSG website.
- Not rehoming an animal to a household in which one or more member is displaying symptoms of or has tested positive for coronavirus.
We have robust infection control procedures in place at all our centres and are providing regular updates to our staff to ensure they have appropriate advice.
Is it safe for the wider public for Battersea to be rehoming animals at this time?
There is no evidence that pets can transmit coronavirus to humans. The Government has introduced social distancing guidelines to reduce human to human transmission of coronavirus, and Battersea and other rescue centres have put measures in place to ensure we are following the latest Government guidance on this whilst maintaining our usual rehoming protocols.
There is a chance that the virus could be passed from person to person via surfaces such as a dog's fur, collar and lead. Battersea therefore advises all pet owners to adopt good hygiene practices, which includes washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after touching your dog or cat, or their food, toys, or bedding. You should also avoid kissing your dog or cat or being licked by them or sharing food with them.
How does Battersea rehome whilst observing social distancing guidelines?
The physical suitability of a home can now be assessed using photos and Google Earth, whilst video conference interviews and recorded footage can help new owners get to know our animals and ask our staff questions. Cats can be delivered to new homes in carriers, whilst dogs can be handed over in gardens.
Is Battersea rehoming animals to coronavirus affected households?
No, we are asking our customers to inform us if one or more member of their household is displaying symptoms of or has tested positive for coronavirus. If this is the case, we will not be delivering a dog or cat to them to protect our staff and the greater public.
Is Battersea collecting animals from coronavirus affected households?
Battersea is currently closed to all but emergency intake. If it is the case that we do need to collect a dog or cat from a coronavirus affected household we will be taking the following steps to protect our staff, customers, and animals:
- Collecting the animal in a secure way which maintains at least a two-metre distance using a large room or an outdoor space if possible.
- Providing our staff with appropriate protective equipment including goggles or glasses, gloves, face mask and apron.
- Bathing or wiping down animals with a pet safe cloth on arrival at our centres.
- Quarantining animals for three days (72 hours).
- Cleaning and disinfecting all leads, collars, carriers and other equipment that has had contact with the animal.
- Fully cleaning and disinfecting all relevant parts of the vehicle used to transport the animal.
Can we film at Battersea?
We have three centres – London, Old Windsor and Brands Hatch – where we can facilitate filming requests for media during our hours of operation – please contact our press office on firstname.lastname@example.org. If you'd like to discuss filming at Battersea for a commercial product or purpose, our commercial or corporate fundraising teams would have to approve the request. Please send details to email@example.com in the first instance and we can redirect them as appropriate.
Do you have Battersea spokespeople available for interview?
We have a number of Battersea spokespeople who are available to speak on a variety of subjects around animal welfare and rescue. Please give our press office a call on 020 7627 9294 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with details of your request.
I'm a student and I would like to do a project on Battersea, can you help?
Thanks for thinking of Battersea. Unfortunately, as a charity, we simply do not have the resources to assist with student projects. We have put together a downloadable student pack that may provide some of the information you need. We wish you all the best with your studies.
I’d like to come in and take photographs of Battersea animals – is this possible?
Thanks for thinking of Battersea. We do not allow photography in our kennels and unfortunately, as a charity, we simply do not have the resources to assist with amateur photography requests.
I’d like to speak to Battersea about advertising. Who is best to contact?
Please email email@example.com to reach our marketing colleagues. We do not have a direct phone number for advertising enquiries, so email is the quickest way to get a response. Our press office team cannot assist with these enquiries.
We’d like to work with Battersea to promote our organisation or product. Who can we speak to?
Thank you for thinking of us. These enquiries can come through the press office in the first instance and we can direct them to our Commercial or Corporate Fundraising teams, as appropriate.