Dog covered head to toe in scars finds a safe home thanks to Battersea

22 AUGUST 2019

Ahead of International Dog Day (August 26), Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is urging anyone thinking of getting a dog to consider adoption, after recently rehoming Willow, a mongrel who came into the rescue charity covered in cuts and scars.

Willow arrived at Battersea in July as a stray. Although vets at the charity estimated the Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix to be around a year old, it was clear that she had been through a lot in her short life.

Willow’s body had been scattered with scars, with many over her face, neck and legs. Veterinary staff noted that some of Willow’s scars looked fresher than others, which suggests that she had been hurt on more than one occasion.

Steve Craddock, Centre Manager at Battersea, said: “We’ll never know exactly what happened to Willow before she came into Battersea’s care, but it’s clear that she had been the victim of serious neglect.”

However, although it was clear that the young dog hadn’t had the best start in life, she didn’t let this hold her back when it came to trusting people again. Although she was initially worried when first arriving at the London rescue centre, it didn’t take her long to realise that she was safe and for her true colours to show.

Steve continued: “Dogs are such incredible, forgiving animals. It’s likely that Willow hadn’t had the best experience of people before being rescued, so for her to become so trusting of us so quickly really reflects how loving and kind natured dogs can truly be.”

Thanks to Willow’s trusting nature, it only took her 17 days to find a new home in London with owner Samantha Allan. The average length of stay for a Battersea dog is 35 days.

For Samantha, it really was love at first sight when she was introduced to the mongrel, saying: “As soon as I saw her and walked her on the lead, it just felt right and that we had a connection. I knew that she would be a lot of work and would require a lot of my time, but I fell in love with her and knew that she was the dog I wanted.”

Now settled at home with Samantha, Willow is learning what it’s like to be a proper pet and live in a real, loving home where her confidence is growing more and more every day.

“Willow goes on a couple of walks a day and her confidence has done a complete turnaround. She still gets a little skittish but as soon as she looks at me and realises that everything is okay, she carries on and is becoming more and more interested in everything around her” continues Samantha.

“Willow has the most beautiful nature. There’s something about rescue animals whereby they know that they have been given a second chance and if given love and training, they can become the most incredible companions.”

Battersea is now urging the public to give more dogs like Willow a second chance by choosing to adopt, rather than buy a dog.

Steve added: “Dogs can come into rescues for many different reasons, such as being a stray or a change of circumstances in their owner’s lives, but the one thing they all have in common is that they are hopeful for a second chance at finding a loving, happy home. Next time someone is looking for a new companion, we hope that they will think that rescue is best.”

If you’re interested in rehoming a dog, please visit


Notes to editors

  • Failing to provide for the basic needs of an animal, including prevention of harm, is an offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. You can read the animal welfare act here.
  • Battersea is here for every dog and cat and has been since 1860. Since it was founded over 150 years ago, Battersea has rescued, reunited and rehomed over 3.1 million dogs and cats.
  • We believe that every dog and cat deserves the best. That’s why we aim to never turn away a dog or cat in need.
  • Battersea helps nearly 7,000 dogs and cats across its three centres and uses its expertise, influence, and voice to help thousands more animals all over the country and across the world.
  • Battersea cares for an average of 250 dogs and 120 cats across its three centres at any one time.
  • There is no time limit on how long an animal can stay at Battersea, but the average stay for a dog is 35 days and 23 days for a cat.
  • In addition to the site in South West London, Battersea also has two other centres based at Old Windsor, Berkshire and Brands Hatch, Kent.
  • For further information on Battersea, please visit
  • Follow Battersea on Twitter @battersea_ or