Our intake policy

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.

Non-selective intake policy

Though our non-selective intake policy is increasingly rare within the animal welfare rescue sector, it continues to sit at the heart of everything we stand for.

There is a downside to this open intake approach however, in that we have to deal with a wide range of animals arriving here: and as a result, we regularly receive pets with serious medical conditions and/or behavioural problems.

This puts the onus on our dedicated team to ensure each animal is treated on a case-by-case basis and to do the best we possibly can to give them the best possible chance of a happy future.

If a banned breed of dog is identified within the Home, we are obliged by law to take whatever course of action the police request of us. There are four banned dog breeds in the UK under the Dangerous Dogs Act - the Pit Bull Terrier, the Japanese Tosa, the Dogo Argentino and the Fila Brasiliero.

Rehoming assessments

Every dog and cat that comes into the Home is treated with compassion and dignity and is assessed by a member of our Veterinary team and highly-experienced and trained behavioural assessors.

If, after assessment, the animal is suitable for rehoming we will care for that animal for as long as it takes for the right owner to be found. In some cases this can take a matter of days but for others it may be many months before they finally find the perfect new home.

If an animal is found to have medical problems, or to have behavioural issues, their journey through the Home may take longer.

Time, training and care

In terms of behaviour, we will take the time to work with the animal to understand whether the problem, such as aggression with other dogs or stress, can be resolved with time, training and care. If so the dog will be assessed again at a later stage for potential rehoming.

But if at this stage the problems persist and we cannot be confident of rehoming them safely and responsibly, Battersea will take the sad but necessary decision to put the animal to sleep.

We care deeply for all the animals we look after and such decisions are never taken lightly or in isolation. Our intake policy means that difficult decisions have to be made on a regular basis but also ensures that every animal we take in gets a second chance.

Battersea offers hope and the chance of a happy life to many dogs and cats who, if not for Battersea, would have nowhere else to go.