All I want for Christmas is a home: Battersea’s underdogs prepare for their fur-st noel without a family

20 DECEMBER 2016

No dog wants to be without a family, especially at Christmas - but that’s the fate facing the lonely residents of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.

Battersea currently has 240 homeless dogs across their three centres, including a group of dogs who’ve become affectionately known to the charity’s staff and volunteers as the ‘Battersea underdogs’.

Battersea Centre Manager Robert Young explains: “Our underdogs are a wonderful group of dogs in our kennels who are sadly having a tough time finding a home. They’ve been joining in the Christmas festivities and we’re hoping anyone thinking of rehoming a dog at this time of year will help give them a second chance in life. They would all love to find a family in time for Christmas.”

Meet the underdogs

Tia Pig: Four-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier Tia Pig is the longest-stay resident at Battersea’s London centre. Tia Pig, named because of the adorable snorting noises she makes when she’s happy, has been in the wars since she was brought into the home. She arrived with an injury in her back leg and the damage couldn’t be repaired, so Battersea staff had to amputate it. Tia Pig has since been getting along much better on three legs. Tia Pig loves kids and would be a great family pet, but because of her leg she’d be looking for a home with older children.

Robert Young says: “Tia Pig’s having a tough time finding a home because of her missing limb. It’s such a shame because she gets around so well on three legs and you’d struggle to find a more loving and affectionate dog. Tia has been with us for over 160 days and we’re hoping she’ll find a home in time for Christmas.”

Freddy: Four-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier/Greyhound cross Freddy’s woebegone expression has earned him the title of Battersea’s saddest dog. Freddy was wandering the streets as a stray when he was hit by a car. His hip was dislocated in the accident and he needed surgery. He was then brought into Battersea and has been sadly looking for a home ever since. 

Robert Young says: “Freddy’s got the best of both breeds, with the loyal and affectionate nature of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the gentle temperament of a Greyhound. We think finding a home in time for Christmas would finally bring a smile to this sad boy’s face.”

Buffy: Two-year-old Mongrel Buffy has been nicknamed Battersea’s tiger-dog, thanks to her distinctive orange and black-stripped coat. But don’t let her tigress appearance fool you- Buffy is a big cuddle monster.

Robert Young said: “Buffy is very affectionate and super-intelligent but she does sometimes forget her own size- so she’ll need someone who can handle her on the lead. Buffy’s been at Battersea for close to three months and we’re at a loss to understand why no one has taken this lovely natured, clever girl home.”

Katie: Greyhounds, like Katie, are one of the most common breeds brought into Battersea. The Home has seen 90 Greyhounds come through their doors so far this year. Recently Battersea has had an influx of black Greyhounds and four-year-old Katie has been finding it hard to stand-out from the crowd.

Robert Young said: “Katie is being overlooked in favour of our more exotic looking dogs. It’s a shame because any dog-lover who spends five minutes with her will realise she’s a stand-out girl, who is smiley and eager to please. Katie loves snuggling in her favourite, festive pyjamas.”

Mutley: Five-year-old Jack Russell cross Mutley is a proper little lap-dog who’s finding it hard to find a home because he’s vision impaired. Mutley has cataracts, but he doesn’t let this slow him down. However, his new owners need to be mindful of his vision because he can be a bit nervous, especially if he gets startled by sudden movements.

Robert Young said: “Mutley’s a pint-sized ball of affection who loves to snuggle with his favourite people. Because of his poor eyesight, Mutley’s looking for a calm home with no children with owners who have the time to help him settle. Mutley’s a really loving little chap and he’s stolen the hearts of many of the staff and volunteers at Battersea.” 

If you can offer any of the ‘Battersea underdogs’ a home in time for Christmas please 0800 001 4444 or visit Battersea is open throughout Christmas and New Year, but closed for rehoming on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

You can download photos of the 'Battersea underdogs' here.

Notes to editors 

  • Established in 1860, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home aims never to turn away a dog or cat in need of our help, caring for them until their owners or loving new homes can be found, no matter how long it takes. We are champions for, and supporters of, vulnerable dogs and cats, determined to create lasting changes for animals in our society. 
  • Since it was founded, Battersea has rescued, reunited and rehomed over 3.1 million dogs and cats.
  • In 2015 the Home cared for over 8000 dogs and cats.
  • Battersea cares for an average of 260 dogs and 220 cats across its three centres at any one time.
  • There is no time limit on how long an animal can stay at the charity but the average stay for a dog is 30 days and 22 days for a cat.
  • In addition to the site in South West London, the Home also has two other centres based at Old Windsor, Berkshire and Brands Hatch, Kent.
  • Battersea Dogs & Cats Home rehomes dogs and cats all over the UK.
  • Battersea Dogs & Cats Home receives no central government funding towards the care of its dogs and cats and relies on the generosity and support of the public to help care for lost and abandoned dogs & cats. To make a donation visit our website or call 0207 627 7883.
  • For further information on Battersea Dogs & Cats Home please visit
  • Follow Battersea on Twitter @BDCH or