Community Engagement

Battersea’s Community Engagement team works to improve the lives of dogs by educating the local community to tackle animal welfare issues in London.

As an integral part of our work in the community, we aim to tackle some of society’s most prevalent dog and cat welfare problems. The way we support the community evolves all the time as we adapt to provide solutions for the most common problems for pets.

10% of the animals that find themselves at Battersea are handed over due to issues with accommodation, including non pet friendly tenancy agreements. This is a particular issue within the social housing sector, which is why we have launched our FREE Pet Ready Training Programme.

Pet Ready Training Programme

Our Pet Ready Training Programme aims to proactively support social housing tenants who may be looking to own a new pet and existing owners that may need some support with their pet’s behaviour.

By working with Local Authorities and Housing Associations to deliver more pet friendly tenancy agreements, our support should enable more tenants to have the opportunity to own a pet responsibly, happily and safely. We hope that fewer animals will be handed over unnecessarily to animal charities such as Battersea, as authorities feel confident to say ‘yes’ to pets, knowing that those owners have benefitted from Battersea’s expertise.

We recognise the multiple benefits that the companionship of an animal can bring, so we aim to equip owners with the necessary skills to ensure that more people can enjoy the health and social benefits of owning a pet.

The programme consists of three different workshops:

  1. Be Dog Ready
  2. Be Cat Ready
  3. Behavioural Support Course

You can also find out about our Dog Support Service which offers ongoing support for dog owners within our partners’ properties, and One Stop Shops, bringing Battersea to you.


Be Dog Ready

1. Be Dog Ready

This workshop aims to prepare tenants for owning a dog, or supports existing owners to ensure a happy healthy environment for them, their dog and their community. It will cover a range of topics including: where best to get a dog from, a dog’s welfare needs, dog law, owners responsibilities and practical training skills.

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Be Cat Ready

2. Be Cat Ready

This workshop aims to prepare tenants for owning a cat, or supports existing owners to ensure a happy healthy environment for them, their cat and their community. It will cover a range of topics including: where best to get a cat from, a cat’s welfare needs, owner responsibilities, an insight into cat behaviour and how to alleviate any concerns or issues.

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Behavioural Support Course

3. Behavioural Support Course

This course aims to provide additional advice and training for owners who are experiencing behavioural concerns with their pet. Owners may request this support, or it may be as a result of a complaint or concern raised by the Local Authority, Housing Association or other residents. This course is tailored to address the specific issues being expressed, helping the owner to manage and resolve those behaviours.

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Dog Support Service

Dog Support Service

In addition to our workshops, we also offer ongoing support for dog owners within our partners’ properties. Our Dog Support Service is a FREE helpline, giving owners access to bespoke behavioural and training advice to resolve any issues they are experiencing with their dog.

Owners are referred to the service by their Housing Officer or Dog Warden in response to a specific complaint or nuisance behaviour.

To find out more please call 020 7627 9257 or email communityengagement@battersea.org.uk.


One Stop Shops

One Stop Shops

To support our programme and to tackle pet-related issues at a community level, we can bring Battersea to you. Setting up a tradestand in an identified location or at a community event, we can provide face-to-face advice on any behavioural or welfare issues, FREE pet care services and supplies, microchipping and pet tag engraving, and raise awareness of specific issues or campaigns.

These events not only increase the wellbeing of animals within those residences, but also bring pet and non-pet owning residents together to build a stronger sense of community.

FAQs

Am I eligible to take part in the Pet Ready Training Programme?
  • Participants need to live in social housing in London
  • The properties need to be managed by one of our partners (you will see a list of our current partners within the online sign up form)
How do I sign up to take part in one of the courses?
  • Be Cat/Dog Ready
    • Anyone looking to own a dog/cat (living in social housing) can book themselves onto a course through Battersea directly, by completing our online form.
    • If you require written permission to own an animal within your home, you may be told when you are applying for pet ownership permission from your housing provider that:
      • You are required to attend the course to be granted permission for pet ownership
      • They recommend that you attend a course
      • Your housing provider will give you a booking form to complete and send to Battersea, who will then organise attendance with you directly.
  • Behavioural Support Course
    • Anyone living within our partner’s social housing, who is experiencing challenging behaviour with their dog can be booked onto a behaviour support course. You can be referred in one of three ways:
      • Refer yourself to Battersea directly by completing our online form.
      • Be referred to Battersea by an organisation representative (i.e. Community Engagement Team/Dog Warden/Housing Officer/Antisocial Behaviour Team)
      • You can request to attend a Behavioural Support Course for a specific behavioural problem by approaching your organisation representative for a referral
      • Be referred by Battersea directly at another course or event
      • You may be required to attend the course due to a formal complaint or notice made against your pet by your local authority or housing provider. Your housing provider will give you a booking form to complete and send to Battersea, who will then organise attendance with you directly
I am confused about the booking process of Battersea’s Pet Ready Training Programme, and I need some help with signing up.

You can contact the Community Engagement team via communityengagement@battersea.org.uk or phone 020 7627 9257 for further support, or if you have any more questions.

How much is the programme going to cost me?

All courses are FREE to attend.

Does Battersea offer one to one training sessions?

We don’t offer one to one courses, however, we do offer our Dog Support Service which provides bespoke one to one advice via phone and email with one of our behaviour experts at no cost to you. If required, we can also provide a home visit. This service is only accessible via a referral from your housing provider.

Can I bring my dog or cat along to the sessions?

No, however we may bring a session dog to our ‘Be Dog Ready’ and ‘Behavioural Support’ courses to demonstrate best practice.

What does Battersea hope to achieve from delivering this programme?
  • More residents in social housing having the opportunity to own a pet and feel the health and social benefits that come with pet ownership
  • More residents in social housing being able to keep their pet due to resolved pet related problems (i.e. were at risk of eviction or losing a pet due to complaints/formal warnings)
  • Raise awareness of responsible pet ownership
  • Improve the health and welfare of pets in social housing
  • Reduced pet related problems
Why should I get involved in this campaign?
  • Residents receive health and social benefits of pet ownership
  • Being a responsible pet owner ensures happier residents and happier communities
    • Pet ownership reduces loneliness
    • Increased ‘community feel’ created through more considerate behaviour with pets
  • Reduced risk associated with pet ownership i.e. reduced damage to property, reduced antisocial behaviour, more considerate owners/neighbours
  • Fewer pet related complaints
    • Quicker resolutions for pet related complaints
    • Access to Battersea’s expertise for FREE
Will Battersea decide if I am suitable pet owner or not?

No, the Pet Ready Training Programme aims to help equip you with the tools to be responsible pet owners, not grant permission to have a pet. The charity’s intervention is intended to support your housing provider in making informed decisions on pet ownership and therefore the final decision lies with your housing provider.

If a complaint against my animal is not resolved, what will Battersea do then?

If a resolution cannot be found after using all the services and advice available, Battersea can offer you access to our gifting provision and we will attempt to rehome your animal to a loving new home.

Let's work together

Get in touch with the Community Engagement team:

Are you pet ready?

Get the support you need to own a pet responsibly, happily and safely.

Book now