Unconventional beauty: Battersea’s most unusual residents revealed

16 NOVEMBER 2017

With over 7,000 dogs and cats coming through its door each year, it’s inevitable that certain animals at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home will have an unusual look that will make you do a double take.
In 2017, Battersea staff have seen plenty of unique residents come through the doors - counting hairless cats, a giant dog, three-legged canines and a feline with thumbs among their 2017 residents. 
While some of Battersea’s more exceptional animals have found their unique appearance counts in their favour, and has helped them to quickly find a home, others have found it harder.
Battersea Centre Manager, Robert Young, said: “Every year we get some unusual looking animals coming through our doors, whose unique appearance makes them stick in your mind. At the moment, we have a feline with thumbs named Jett at our London centre, and Max – a terrific, tiny terrier with very large ears, who’s looking for a home at our Brands Hatch site. But, while these animals might stand out from the crowd because of their looks, every Battersea animal has their own unique and lovable personality and we’ve got so many dogs and cats looking for their perfect home right now. So, if you think you have room in your heart and your house for a new pet, please get in touch.”
Among Battersea’s most unusual residents of the year is Poppy, a German Shepherd-cross with three-and-a-half legs who will star on tonight’s episode of Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs on ITV.
The lovely German Shepherd with a half-missing leg caught the eye of the show’s famous host, and he and Battersea’s staff spent weeks working with her to help her stand tall on three legs. But Poppy is just one of the more exceptional residents to pass through Battersea’s doors.
Meet Battersea’s most unusual residents of 2017
Jett: Lovely black cat Jett was born with thumbs and is what’s known as a polydactyl cat. While he’s not yet grasped how to use his extra appendages to hold a pen, this one-year-old is a clever boy who loves playing with toys and being spoilt with extra treats. If you think you could be the one to give Jett the thumbs up for a new home, please get in touch.

Poppy: Beautiful German Shepherd Cross, and upcoming television star, Poppy was born missing half her front right leg. The one-year-old is one of a handful of three-legged dogs who’ve found their way to Battersea this year.  Others include Greyhound Chloe, who found a home with her friend Dale in January this year - after spending almost four months at Battersea’s Old Windsor centre.

Max:  This tiny dog’s large ears add to his quirky personality and make him stand out from the crowd at Battersea’s Brands Hatch centre. But, despite the size of his ears, Max can’t hear – so he’s looking for a home with owners who are willing to take on a deaf dog. This incredibly clever, independent ten-year-old is dreaming of a retirement home with a nice spot on the sofa just for him, and he’s sure to make a great companion to whoever takes him home. 

Shadow: Gorgeous Shadow certainly turned heads when he arrived at Battersea in March, thanks to his distinctively different coloured eyes. Mismatched eyes like Shadow’s are caused by a condition caused Heterochromia Iridis, where one eye has more melanin than the other.  Shadow soon found a home, after his new owners from Devon fell in love with his bewitching gaze.

Gary Baldy: Sphynx cats are a rare sight at Battersea, but this year the Home has seen three of the distinctive breed come through their doors. With his tuxedo like pattern, Gary was the most unusual of the group and seemed to enjoy the attention his unique looks brought him. Gary was quickly snapped up and rehomed to Kent earlier this year.

Loki: This Alaskan Malamute was certainly hard to miss when he arrived at Battersea. Standing over a metre high and looking like he’d walked off the set of Game of Thrones, this enormous boy was one of the tallest dogs Battersea had ever seen. Lucky for this gentle giant, he caught the eye of a family from North London and found his forever-home.

Henry: One-eyed Yorkie Henry arrived at Battersea as a stray with a terrible eye infection. Battersea vets saved one of his eyes but unfortunately, the other had to be removed. Luckily, his new owners didn’t seem to mind his new look and Henry found a new forever-home earlier this month in Surrey.

Watch Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs on ITV tonight to find out if three-and-a-half legged Poppy will find a home.

If you’d like to rehome Max, Jett or any of Battersea’s other unique animals please get in touch on 0800 001 4444 or visit www.battersea.org.uk
​You can download photos of our unusual Battersea residents here.
For more information and images please contact 020 7627 9333 or email press@battersea.org.uk

Notes to editors

  • Poppy will star on Battersea’s award-winning programme Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs on ITV tonight, on Thursday 16 November at 8:30pm.
  • 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 2016 the Home cared for over 7,000 dogs and cats.
  • Battersea cares for an average of 270 dogs and 200 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 35 days and 22 days for a cat.
  • In 2016 26% of dogs and 32% of cats arrived as strays.
  • 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.
  • For further information on Battersea Dogs & Cats Home please visit www.battersea.org.uk.
  • Follow Battersea on Twitter @BDCH or facebook.com/Battersea.