Samantha Barks is joining Battersea in appealing for Volunteer dog fosters

13 JUNE 2016

British actress and singer Samantha Barks, best known for the role of Éponine in Les Misérables is joining Battersea Dogs & Cats Home in appealing for more foster carers to help offer a temporary home to the charity’s most vulnerable dogs.
The actress is a frequent visitor to the world-famous charity and has fostered Battersea dogs in need of a little TLC and time away from kennels.
With a busy schedule of auditioning for roles, recording her own music and playing live shows, Samantha was hesitant to commit to the rehoming of a Battersea dog. However as a dog lover all her life, she wanted to do what she can for lost, abandoned and unwanted dogs and soon found out about temporary foster caring at Battersea.
Samantha says:
“I love being able to make a difference to dogs that find kennel life too stressful at Battersea, giving them time in a normal home environment before their new owner arrives. If you can’t commit to owning a dog, fostering is ideal”.
Samantha now regularly fosters Battersea dogs to give them a break from kennel life and some love and attention in a home environment, from a few nights, to a few weeks. The actress is urging others to get involved, and promises the experience is just as rewarding for you as it is for the dog.
“The most rewarding thing about fostering is seeing how even the smallest amount of love and attention can transform a dog’s behaviour, making them happier and more sociable”.
Battersea relies on dog foster carers to help its dogs that are too anxious to cope with the kennel environment or are recovering from medical conditions. In 2015 volunteer foster carers helped care for 597 dogs, but the charity is always in need of more temporary homes for its animals.
This year Battersea’s Volunteering and Fostering programme will be expanding thanks to an incredible award of £200,000 from players of People’s Postcode Lottery. This generous support will help the Home to recruit additional volunteers to support every element of the Home’s activity, and new foster carers who will open up their own homes for Battersea’s dogs and cats waiting patiently for their new lives to begin. Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have now awarded an incredible £850,000 to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home since 2014 and the impact of their generosity is felt every day by Battersea staff, volunteers and animals.
The appeal for more Battersea dog fosters comes during National Volunteering Week, running from 1-12 June which celebrates the immense contribution volunteers are making to charities across the UK.
Anyone interested in fostering a Battersea dog can visit


For more information and images please contact 020 7627 9332 or email

Notes to editors 

Battersea is looking for foster carers who have:

  • Compassion, empathy and the appreciation that every dog is an individual
  • Time to be a full-time foster carer
  • Experience of working with dogs, ideally with bull breeds
  • An enthusiasm for training, behavioural work – and housetraining
  • No children younger than 10
  • To live within two hours’ journey time of one of our three sites in London, Old Windsor and Brands Hatch
  • Provision to travel to those sites for medical and rehoming meetings

Notes on Battersea

  •  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 2015 27% of dogs and 30% of cats arrived as strays.
  • A team of over 1200 volunteers help at Battersea’s three centres, in roles including dog and cat socialising, gardening, admin support and giving talks in the community.
  • 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 0870 890 0000.
  • Follow Battersea on Twitter @battersea_ or