Increasing Our Impact

Helping more animals by working in partnership with other dog and cat welfare organisations in the UK and around the world.

The Battersea Academy

Battersea has a strategic long-term commitment to increase our impact for animals, helping as many dogs and cats as we can, and much of our work now stretches far beyond our physical centres. In a year when many rescues across the world were hit hard, this work remained vital as we strive to make a real, practical difference to the lives of even more dogs and cats.

One of the ways we do this is by supporting many smaller rescues, shelters, and charities to continue helping animals in need in local communities both in the UK and beyond. By providing training and financial support to these organisations, we enable them to work effectively, efficiently, sustainably, and to the highest possible welfare standards. This helps ensure that Battersea has a positive, lasting impact on even more dogs and cats, year after year.

In 2020, the Battersea Academy’s e-learning capabilities were accelerated in response to the pandemic and considerable content was redesigned for online delivery. Thanks to this rapid response, the Academy was able to deliver 27 programmes and webinars, which were attended by 467 delegates from 146 UK and international organisations, and 11 dog wardens from five local authorities.




Delegates of Academy intensive programmes reported in 2020 that 6,419 animals had benefitted from changes they had made to their practice or facilities, inspired by learnings taken from the various Academy courses they had attended since its conception in 2018.

Both our Dog/Cat Intensive programmes and our one-day Introductory programmes received City & Guilds Assured status in 2020, and we launched a new ‘Check-in & Chat’ session to provide UK and international rescues with the opportunity to raise topics with a Battersea expert, as well as share best practice in an informal setting.

IN FOCUS - Global Impact

One international rescue organisation that our Academy programme has been able to help is DogTown South Africa. Still a relatively young charity having been established in 2019, and with few other shelters in the country sharing the same mindset, DogTown looked overseas to charities that it had seen making a difference to the lives of dogs coming into their care. This was where the Battersea Academy came to light.

Tracy McQuarrie, Founder of DogTown, says, “I cannot explain how thrilled we were to attend the week-long intensive dog rescue and rehoming workshop. We came away with the knowledge we were searching for and, when we returned to South Africa, we set about putting it into place with added help from a Battersea grant, which allowed us to update our facilities.

“I totally underestimated the impact Battersea’s support would have on us. We run our centre completely differently now — we save more lives; we have less animals within the centre, but adoptions are higher; and we have procedures in place for every activity within the centre. We are determined to continue to grow and help more dogs and more rescue workers out there and are on a mission to change animal rescue in our country to be more like the Battersea way.”

Tracy adds, “Since the intensive rehoming workshop, we have attended many more of Battersea’s online workshops on varied topics, from basic animal behaviour to writing a successful grant application and digital marketing. Every single workshop we’ve attended has put us on the right track to save even more animal lives in South Africa. Even during the difficult times of the pandemic, we have been guided and given extra tools to not just survive but thrive.”

Helping More Animals
Through Grants

The pandemic hit rescues across the world. For many, funds began to dry up and — across the UK and internationally — smaller rescue organisations faced a worrying and uncertain future.

At Battersea, we could not stand by and watch so, as part of the Academy work last year, we committed to providing funding to other organisations and 41 grants were awarded across eight countries, totalling £450,000 — 29 in the UK and 12 to overseas organisations. Since Battersea started our Grants programme in 2018, we have indirectly helped more than 43,100 animals worldwide.

Having recognised the detrimental effects of the pandemic on the wider rescue sector, Battersea also led the establishment of the ADCH Coronavirus Emergency Fund and its subsequent management. This secured additional funding from organisations including the PetPlan Charitable Trust, Mars Petcare and Dogs Trust. From more than 150 applications received, 54 grants were awarded, nd initial reports indicate that more than 3,000 animals benefitted.

£450,000 awarded in grants, 13 INTERNATIONAL GRANTS, 29 UK GRANTS


A first external evaluation of the Academy and Grants programmes was commissioned, in which researchers conducted interviews with a sample of organisations that received grant support, attended the intensive Academy course, or both. The evaluation confirmed the positive impacts already apparent and recommended additional support Battersea can provide to help organisations.

The researchers stated: “Over just a couple of years, Battersea has undoubtedly developed an effective, influential strategy with positive change outcomes that directly affect the animals the centres support. The use of its Grants and training programmes are key, successful methods which have influenced and changed behaviour and practice positively as they relate to animal welfare.”

IN FOCUS - Invaluable Impact

For WADARS Animal Rescue in Sussex, funding courtesy of a Battersea grant enabled the organisation to fit out its brand-new cattery and, in 2020, purchase a new animal ambulance and other vital equipment. Tracy Cadman, Operations Manager, says, “When I went on the Academy five-day intensive course, we were just about to start building our cattery. Seeing the Battersea cattery was really useful, even down to simple things such as how the pens are set up. Following the Academy programme, we applied for a Battersea grant, which enabled us to kit out our new cattery. Because we were starting from scratch, everything had to be bought; litter trays, water and food bowls, beds, scratch posts, even the kitchen equipment to store and prep food. The impact of having our own cattery has been massive, and the support we’ve had from Battersea — grants, partnership working, advice — has been invaluable to us as a small charity.”

Working Together

Our Animal Partnerships team works with many different dog and cat charities and rescues all over the country to provide the best outcome for animals in need of homes. In total, 274 dogs were received last year from Local Authority dog wardens, and 342 dogs and cats were received from other rescue organisations.

Throughout 2020, we were able to place 50 cats in rural outlets such as farms and stable yards. We also worked collaboratively with Cats Protection to trap, neuter, and release 66 feral cats in rural Sussex. Five dogs were placed in working outlets, while 33 dogs requiring specialist homes were placed with breed rescues.

IN FOCUS - Supporting Other Rescue Centres

Last autumn, the RSPCA’s Sussex, Chichester and District branch reached out to Battersea for help with one of their long-term feline residents, Cliff. The ten-year-old Domestic Shorthair was FIV-positive and stressed by the cattery environment, so in October he was brought to our London centre where he could be placed in a more secluded pen. Staff worked tirelessly to keep Cliff as comfortable and stress-free as possible while he underwent veterinary treatment at our clinic, and, in time, he began to show a more sweet and affectionate side. Although he became a calmer cat during his time with us, Cliff still wasn’t entirely happy with cattery life so our Communities team arranged for him to stay with a Community Rehoming Volunteer where he could enjoy some home comforts. After seven weeks in Battersea’s care, Cliff was rehomed to a wonderful couple who wanted to offer a cat a relaxing home in which to spend their days in comfort, peace and quiet.