Battersea's Latest Figures Reveal 54% Increase in Young Unwanted Animals Coming into Their Care As Rate of Pets Neutering Decreases

26 Feb 2024

Battersea has seen a concerning increase in the number of puppies and kittens and young animals being brought to its centres; the charity’s latest figures reveal in time for Word Spay Day.

In 2023, Battersea took in a total of 451 dogs and 814 cats under six months of age across its three centres in London, Old Windsor and Brands Hatch; up by 54 per cent for dogs (from 293 puppies in 2022) and 34 per cent for cats (up from 607 kittens in 2022).

Meanwhile, Battersea also saw 68 puppies and 66 kittens born in its care; showing a striking 79 per cent increase year-on year for puppies (up from 38 puppies in 2022).

These figures have been shared ahead of World Spay Day (27 February), as the charity urges owners to consider neutering and spaying their pets to avoid unwanted pregnancies, as well as informing owners of the behavioural and medical benefits of neutering.

Bridie Williams, Rehoming and Welfare Manager at Battersea said: “Neutering is an important consideration for any responsible owner to make. Aside from the obvious effect on population control, there are many other health and behavioural advantages. This is particularly true for cats, as Battersea often sees people giving up their cats when they become pregnant, and the owner is unable to take on the care of a litter of kittens.”

“Female cats can have their first season as early as four months old and can have up to three litters annually if not spayed. By neutering their cats, owners can help prevent unwanted litters and roaming behaviour in male cats, and can reduce the risk of disease transmission and future health issues such as womb infections or cancers. Similarly, for dogs, neutering diminishes undesirable behaviors associated with mating while lowering cancer risks, allowing for happier, healthier pets.”

Battersea advises neutering kittens between nine and twelve weeks, and puppies from six months old depending on the breed. As well as neutering any unneutered dogs and cats before rehoming them, the charity also contributes to community outreach to manage populations and improve the welfare of non-domesticated cats. Battersea also supports other organisations carrying out neutering programmes across the world, from Jai Dog in Thailandto Zero Stray Pawject in Greece.

Zero Stray Pawject, an organisation based in Greece, has a mission to sustainably reduce the number of stray animals in communities by educating local municipalities. With the support of Battersea funding, the organisation has so far been able to provide intensive training to 119 municipalities across Greece, empowering them to tackle stray animal populations. Dafni Ymittos, one of those municipalities, is a great example of progress made possible by Battersea, as it was able to fund a trap, neuter and release programme that has so far neutered and microchipped550 animals, treated 750 strays and placed 150 dogs into homes.

Battersea has also been able to help Jai Dog Rescue in Thailand with their extensive neutering and vaccination work. In 2022 Battersea and Jai Dog began an ambitious five-year partnership to neuter 80 per cent of the street dog population in Nakhon Nayok, Thailand. Supported by Battersea, Jai Dog recently launched a mobile veterinary clinic to help treat even more animals across Thailand and allow the team to trap, neuter and vaccinate more dogs. The mobile clinic treated over 600 dogs within its first month and with the help of Battersea’s support, Jai Dog reached and rescued a massive 192 per cent more animals than the same time last year

This has changed the lives of dogs like Dam and Mooyong, two community dogs who have recently benefitted from the services of Jai Dog’s mobile clinic. Both dogs were neutered by Jai Dog’s mobile veterinary clinic team and then returned to their local community. Neutering Dam and Mooyong and other dogs in the area will go a long way to help the ever-growing street dog population in the region.


For more advice on pet neutering, please visit Battersea’s website advice here:


Notes to editors 

  • At Battersea we offer our love and expert care to dogs and cats who need us by rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals at our centres, and by sharing our knowledge and resources with rescue organisations around the world. We do this because we want to help every dog and cat, everywhere 
  • In 2022 Battersea directly cared for 2,278 dogs and 2,253 cats at our three centres. We also helped thousands more through our Communities programme, campaigning work, supporting other rescues and animal welfare advocates, and sharing knowledge and advice with pet owners
  • In addition to the site in South West London, Battersea also has two other centres based at Old Windsor, Berkshire and Brands Hatch, Kent.. 
  • To find out more visit our website or follow Battersea on Twitter @battersea_ , Instagram @battersea or