Our animal charter

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has been looking after abandoned and unwanted animals since 1860.

Our core mission is never to turn away a dog or cat in need of our help. Subject to space, but irrespective of breed, condition, age, temperament or health we will open our gates to those animals in need of care and shelter, and we will do all we can to either reunite them with their owners or to rehome them into loving new homes.

Our determination to help every dog and cat that arrives at our gates means that we see animals in all states of mental and physical condition. Our Animal Charter comprises five quality standards. By working to these standards, the Home meets and exceeds its statutory obligations under the Animal Welfare Act and other relevant legislation and Codes of Practice. The standards apply universally, to the care of every dog and cat that enters the Home, regardless of the circumstances, or the specific site that it arrives at.

We aim to never turn away a dog or cat in need of our help

We achieve this by:

  • Maintaining a non-selective intake policy that does not discriminate based on breed, sex, condition, age, temperament, health or any other factor.
  • Proactively managing our intake and optimising the use of our resources to ensure we help as many dogs and cats as possible.
  • Providing expert information and advice to owners, Local Authorities and other rescue organisations that are seeking to bring dogs or cats into our care.

We ensure every dog and cat receives the highest standards of care

We achieve this by:

  • Working in accordance with the ‘One Battersea’ Operating Model with consistent staffing, and defined procedures and processes across all sites.
  • Treating each dog and cat as an individual, carrying out thorough observations and evaluations to plan its housing location and its ongoing care.
  • Ensuring that staff, volunteers and fosterers understand how to interpret animal behaviours and put in place appropriate and effective care plans to manage and improve behaviours as required. These care plans will on occasions include behaviour modification programmes, using entirely positive reinforcement training techniques.
  • Providing an extensive range of in-kennel and external enrichment, including initiatives and facilities that provide each animal with an element of choice in how it would like to behave, interact or make use of its environment.
  • Maintaining a network of foster carers who can care for an animal on the occasion that a kennel or cat pen is unsuitable to meet its particular needs.

We keep our dogs and cats as healthy as possible

We achieve this by:

  • Working collaboratively with the Home’s team of veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses.
  • Maintaining high standards of husbandry and hygiene across all animal facilities.
  • Ensuring a proactive approach to infection monitoring and control.
  • Providing facilities and activities for each animal, intended to help minimise levels of stress, frustration and anxiety.

We ensure dogs and cats pass through the Home as safely and quickly as possible with the best possible outcome for each of them

We achieve this by:

  • Maintaining a Lost Dogs and Cats Line telephone service and promoting a free microchipping service in order to help re-unite lost animals with their owners and reduce the number of stray animals in need of our help.
  • Assessing an animal’s suitability for rehoming through the use of consistent protocols, that observe and record behaviours on an ongoing basis and that are carefully reviewed and considered by expert behaviourists.
  • Never putting a time limit on how long we will care for a dog or cat that can be rehomed, and exploring alternative options such as approved non-domestic or working outlets or other rescue organisations where these would enable an animal to be successfully rehomed.
  • Never putting an animal to sleep unless, after expert assessment, it is found to have untreatable medical problems, or to have behavioural issues so severe that we believe we will be unable to safely rehome it or redeploy it to a working environment, or if the animal is of a banned breed.

We provide advice and support to new owners to maximise the chances of successful rehoming

We achieve this by:

  • Ensuring every animal rehomed is neutered, microchipped, vaccinated, and free from parasites.
  • Rehoming every animal with the offer of a period of free pet insurance provided by our insurance supplier and with an initial supply of food and any items essential to its individual care.
  • Providing expert advice and written information at the point of rehoming on the care of the individual animal, including any additional equipment or other items required, and following up to offer further advice during the settling in period.
  • Providing a veterinary outpatient service for three months following rehoming, for conditions related to the animal’s stay at the Home.
  • Providing additional behavioural and training advice on request once the animal has gone home, by phone, in writing, face to face, or by signposting the owner to additional behavioural support as appropriate.

Our work

​Find out about the work we do to care for over 7,000 dogs and cats each year.Our work and values