Battersea volunteers donate over 6 years of their time in 2016 ahead of National Volunteers’ Week

Across National Volunteers’ Week (1–12 June), Battersea Dogs & Cats Home are celebrating their volunteers and foster carers who have donated 55,848 hours to the Home already this year. That’s the equivalent of over 6 years and 4 months, roughly the same age as Staffordshire Bull Terrier Zena who is currently looking for a new home. Zena is one the 220 cats and 260 dogs that Battersea typically cares for across its three centres at any one time. Without over 1,200 dedicated volunteers – generously supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery – this simply wouldn’t be possible. Battersea’s volunteers assist staff in a huge variety of ways. In addition to animal-welfare roles, volunteers are involved in office duties, representing the Home at events, helping to raise vital funds, showing visitors around our centres, and even visiting schools to educate children about our cause and responsible pet ownership.

Charlotte Fielder, Battersea’s Head of Volunteering, commented “Whenever I talk to our volunteers and foster carers or I’m told of an achievement I am humbled by their dedication to their roles and their contribution to creating a place where dogs and cats are treated with love, care and respect. During this very special National Volunteers’ Week I want to publicly recognise the efforts of our volunteers and foster carers and say thank you on behalf of all the staff and all the animals currently in our care.”

Zena is one of 400 animals that have been cared for by a Battersea foster carer this year. Our dog foster carers provide a welcoming and reassuring home environment – from a few nights to several months – for those dogs that simply cannot cope in Battersea’s kennels. For our most vulnerable or traumatised dogs this can be lifesaving. Similarly, cat foster families care for felines of all ages while they await permanent homes. This can be helping new mums care for litters, hand-rearing orphan kittens or looking after adult cats that need the peace and quiet of a home while they recover from medical treatment.

A £200,000 award from the generous players of People’s Postcode Lottery is helping to expand the Home’s volunteering and fostering programme. Thanks to this, each and every volunteer at the Home can be supported by a dedicated team and provided with the training, uniform, and equipment they require. For the Home’s 259 active foster carers, this vital support means the Home can provide them with everything they need to offer a safe and pleasant experience for our animals – whether a calm taxi journey home with a stressed dog or special milk for young kittens.

Battersea is currently welcoming applications from new foster carers, particularly those local to the Home’s Old Windsor (Berkshire) and Brands Hatch (Kent) centres. Please find more information on fostering cats or fostering dogs, or enquire about rehoming Zena.

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For more information and images please contact 020 7627 9332 or email press@battersea.org.uk

Notes to editors

About Battersea Dogs & Cats Home

  • 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.
  • Battersea cared for over 8000 (8,421) animals including nearly 5000 (4,868) dogs and over 3000 (3,553) cats in 2015.
  • On average 13 dogs and 9 cats arrive at our three centres every day.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In 2015 volunteers dedicated over 73,000 hours to Battersea.
  • Volunteers’ “Week” is 1–12 June 2016, with the aim of celebrating the 21 million plus people who volunteer in the UK at least once a year. For more information, please visit: http://volunteersweek.org/.

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