Battersea announces appointment of Peter Laurie as Chief Executive

12 APRIL 2021

Peter Laurie

Leading animal welfare charity Battersea today announces the appointment of Peter Laurie as its new Chief Executive. Peter will step into the role with immediate effect, having held the position of Interim Chief Executive since January, following the departure of Claire Horton CBE from the charity.

Commenting on the appointment, Battersea Chairman, Paul Baldwin, said:
“Having recently celebrated its 160th anniversary, the need for Battersea’s services, expertise and impact for animals has never been greater. Our charity has a vital role to play in delivering better outcomes for even more dogs and cats in the future, and Peter has the vision and ambition to help us identify and seize new opportunities.

Peter is well known and respected in the animal welfare sector. During his six years at Battersea, he has led the development of Battersea’s work to support animal rescue organisations across the UK and worldwide.  He played a leading role last year in working with sector colleagues and Government to provide a framework for animal rescue and rehoming organisations to continue operating during the pandemic.

Battersea is a dynamic, thriving, and ambitious charity that is already making great strides as a force for change, and I very much look forward to working with Peter to fulfil our ambitious plans.”  

Peter joined Battersea in February 2015 as Director of Operations, becoming Deputy Chief Executive in March 2017.

His appointment as Chief Executive comes at a time when Battersea is both continuing to receive, care for and rehome thousands of dogs and cats across its centres and growing its work to help more animals beyond its gates. Battersea is committed to sharing its expertise with rescue and rehoming organisations across the globe, supporting them with grants, using its profile to raise the visibility of rescue around the world, and using its voice to drive lasting change for animals such as through animal cruelty legislation.

The animal welfare implications resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic could be profound.  Increased demand for puppies, kittens, and designer breeds, means thousands more poorly bred animals hitting the UK market, a sharp increase in puppies being imported or smuggled into the UK, and worrying projections on pet abandonment.

Commenting on his appointment, Peter said:
“I feel very honoured and excited to be asked to lead Battersea. It’s a charity I am deeply committed to and a cause I am truly passionate about. As we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, our staff, volunteers and supporters are as determined now as at any time in our history to be here for every dog and cat that needs us. We look forward to harnessing new opportunities and working in partnership with colleagues across the UK and around the world to create brighter futures for these wonderful animals”.


Picture caption:

Peter is pictured with Nestor, a one-year-old Lurcher at Battersea’s Old Windsor centre.

Notes to editors.

  • Battersea directly helps thousands of dogs and cats across its three centres and uses its expertise, influence, and voice to help many more animals all over the country and across the world.
  • Peter was recruited following an open and competitive recruitment process chaired by Battersea Chairman, Paul Baldwin.
  • Peter takes over as Chief Executive from Claire Horton CBE, who departed Battersea in January 2021 to take up the position of Director General of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
  • Peter joined Battersea as Director of Operations in February 2015, taking responsibility for the strategic direction and management of the charity’s centres, over 60% of the charity’s staff and more than 1000 volunteers. In 2019 Peter was shortlisted as Supporting Executive of the Year at the Charity Times Awards.
  • Prior to joining Battersea, Peter was Chief Executive of the Retired Greyhound Trust for nearly four years. He is the proud owner of a Battersea Greyhound, Wilson, who he rehomed in March 2020.
  • Peter has played a key role in the success of the Association of Dogs and Cats Homes as Honorary Secretary since 2013. He is also a founding Trustee of Southern Thailand Elephant Foundation and has been a Trustee of the Petplan Charitable Trust (a grant giving organisation) since 2014.
  • Peter is committed to partnership working to increase positive outcomes for more animals. He established Battersea’s Animal Partnerships team to specifically work with other rescue centres and Local Authorities. Last year Battersea took in 342 animals from other rescues and established a new partnership with the RSPCA to provide medical treatment for dogs and cats following the closure of its Putney hospital.
  • In 2018 Peter led the creation of the Battersea Academy, a centre for professional development that trains animal welfare practitioners from across the UK and around the world. Last year the Academy delivered 27 programmes and webinars, which were attended by 467 delegates from 146 UK and international organisations. See more information here:
  • For more information on Battersea please see our 2019 Annual Report here: