Battersea now operates in three locations (Battersea, Old Windsor and Brands Hatch). The establishment has steadily grown in recognition thanks to Royal patrons and celebrity supporters. Numerous campaigns throughout the year boost the trust not only through donations, but via projects to craft toys and blankets. In May there was an appeal to knit dog blankets and make kitty cushions as this is a time when Battersea Dogs & Cats home is inundated with abandoned pregnant cats. Other campaigns have included crafting knitted catnip mice as well as donating peanut butter or Marmite for afternoon dog treats .
The Battersea Collars & Coats Gala Ball, now in its 4th year, attracts global designers including Vivienne Westwood, Stella McCartney, Faberge and Julien Macdonald. The evening acts as a fundraiser and promotes the work Battersea does. The home aims never to turn away a dog or cat. They reunite lost dogs and cats with their owners, rehome abandoned or stray animals and provide shelter and veterinary care.
Having moved house recently I was in a position where I could rehome a cat which I had wanted to do for aaaages. My sister had done the same thing a year earlier and it seemed a much better way of owning a pet than pet shops or breeders. The animals are neutered, micro-chipped and assessed for any health problems. As part of a rehoming pack, you also receive pet food for a week, a collar ID tag and a month’s pet insurance. The registration process is duly stringent and in some cases staff may visit your home or need to meet all members of the household prior to rehoming a dog or cat. I went to the Brands Hatch centre and brought ‘Mittens’ home last weekend…she in turn has adopted my pillow as her preferred sleeping area.
Battersea Brands Hatch Centre Manager Richard King explains how the festive period impacts on the Home: “This Christmas Battersea Dogs & Cats Home expects to care for 450 dogs and 150 cats across our three sites. As the Home is open every day of the year, animals may arrive on Christmas Day. Last Christmas the three centres received 96 dogs and 52 cats between 24 December and 1 January, including nine dogs who arrived on Christmas Day.
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a big lunch, so Battersea is appealing to supporters to donate special Christmas meals for all the dogs and cats. Each meal will include some tasty meaty treats, and the charity is hoping to receive enough lunches to give one to each dog and cat on Christmas Day. Battersea expects to care for 450 dogs and 150 cats over Christmas at its three centres, so that’s a lot of meals! If you would like to donate a Christmas lunch to a dog or cat please visit www.battersea.org.uk/christmas, where for £5 you can make their day extra special. You can also donate a gift or treat for an animal to enjoy on Christmas Day.
For other ways to help, please visit the website page.