Battersea Dogs & Cats Home

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Battersea Dogs and Cats Home
Industry Animal welfare
Founded 1860
Founder Mary Tealby
Headquarters United Kingdom
Key people
Claire Horton, Chief Executive
Heather Love, Chair

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is the United Kingdom's oldest and most famous home for dogs and cats and is situated in the Battersea area of London, England. It is financed by voluntary donations with an income of £22.7 million in 2013.[1]


The Battersea Dogs & Cats Home was established in Holloway in 1860 by Mary Tealby as the Temporary Home for Lost and Starving Dogs. The home moved to Battersea in 1871 opposite Battersea Park and has a view of the Battersea Power Station.

In 1885, Queen Victoria became Patron of the home, and it has remained under Royal Patronage ever since. Elizabeth II is the current Patron,[2] and Prince Michael of Kent is the President.

During World War II, then manager Edward Healey-Tutt advised against people euthanizing their pets because of fear of food shortages. Throughout the war Battersea fed and cared for over 145,000 dogs.

In 2002, the name was changed from The Battersea Dogs Home to The Battersea Dogs & Cats Home (cats were first admitted in 1883).[3]

To mark its 150th anniversary in 2010, the Royal Mail released a set of stamps featuring a series of dogs and cats that had been adopted by staff.[4] It also launched a commemorative book, A Home of Their Own, which charts the history of the home. This includes a look at notable people who have adopted animals such as Elton John, who credited his pet, Thomas, with helping him through a rough period.[5] Starting in 2011, Battersea implemented the "Staffies ~ They're Softer Than You Think" campaign to educate the public about the positive attributes of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.[6][7]

On 17 March 2015 Queen Elizabeth II unveiled a plaque to officially open the Mary Tealby [dog] kennels at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.[8]

In addition to the site in south-west London, the Home also has two other centres based at Old Windsor, Berkshire and Brands Hatch, Kent.


The home aims as a charity never to turn away a dog or cat in need of help. It reunites lost dogs and cats with their owners; when they can not do this, the home cares for them until a new home can be found for them. It also aims to educate the public about responsible pet ownership.


Fundraising in London.
  • Battersea Dogs & Cats Home cared for 5,941 dogs and 2,963 cats in 2011 (about 9,000 animals a year)
  • Battersea Dogs & Cats Home usually has around 450 dogs and 150 cats across its three sites and on foster at any one time.
  • The Home's average daily intake is 14 dogs and 8 cats.
  • The average stay for dogs is 45 days, and for cats is 28 days across all three sites. There is no time limit and it is usual for an animal to stay until its adoption.
  • 2,705 dogs were rehomed in 2011
  • 2,550 cats were rehomed in 2011
  • Across all three sites, the Home employs approximately 331 members of staff in a range of operational and administrative roles.
  • There are currently 616 volunteers working in the Home. They carry out a range of functions including walking the dogs and socialising with both the dogs and cats, gardening, kennel support, administration and leading education talks.[citation needed])


TV programmes[edit]

For many years, the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has been the centre of many television programmes in the UK.

The Channel 4 programme Pet Rescue which aired in 1997 featured Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. The BBC One show Animal Rescue Live was broadcast live for a week at Battersea in 2007.

Since 2012, the ITV programme Paul O'Grady: For the Love of Dogs has been filmed at the home.[9]


Since 2012, model David Gandy and presenter Paul O'Grady have been celebrity ambassadors of the home.[10][11]

After presenting the annual Battersea Ball alongside Paul O'Grady, actress and talent show judge Amanda Holden became an ambassador of Battersea in 2013.[12] Author Jacqueline Wilson has been a supporter of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home for many years and was named an ambassador in 2014.[13]

Celebrity Friends[edit]

Celebrity Friends of the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home include footballer Michael Owen, who carried the 2012 Olympic torch through the home, actor David Hasselhoff and Britain's Got Talent winners Ashleigh and Pudsey.[14]


The Chief Executive and company secretary is Claire Horton, assisted by several directors, reporting to the Council of Trustees, of which the chairman is Heather Love and the Vice chair is Bradley Viner. The Council of Trustees in turn reports to the eighty Charity Life Members at its Annual General Meeting every June.


The Home receives no government funding and is run almost entirely on donations from the public.


Battersea Park station for National Rail and Queenstown Road (Battersea) station for National Rail services are located nearby on Battersea Park Road. In the future the Northern line will serve the Home at a station called Battersea Power station.


  1. ^ "Battersea Dogs and Cats Home", Annual Return for 31 December 2013, Charity Commission, retrieved 16 February 2015
  2. ^ Pet Planet accessed 28/03/08
  3. ^ Ardagh, Philip (1 October 2008). Philip Ardagh's Book of Absolutely Useless Lists for Absolutely Every Day of the Year. Pan Macmillan. p. 96. ISBN 978-0-330-43417-1. Retrieved 22 September 2010. 
  4. ^ Prigg, Mark (2 March 2010). "Battersea stamps place in animal history". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 2 March 2010. 
  5. ^ "A Home Of Their Own" by Garry Jenkins p.306. Transworld Publishing 2010. Retrieved on the book's Google preview 25 June 2013.
  6. ^ "Staffies-They're Softer Than You Think". Battersea. Retrieved 27 December 2012. 
  7. ^ "Rain Rescue teams up with Battersea to show the true soft nature of Staffies". Retrieved 11 December 2015. 
  8. ^ "Britain's Queen Elizabeth II unveils a plaque to officially open the... News Photo". Getty Images. 17 March 2015. Retrieved 21 March 2015. 
  9. ^ Iley, Chrissy (31 August 2012). "Paul O'Grady discovers how hard the Battersea Dogs Home staff work to care for their neglected residents". Daily Mail. Retrieved 11 December 2015. 
  10. ^ "First Ambassador David Gandy". Battersea. Retrieved 25 December 2012. 
  11. ^ "Puppy Love for Paul". Battersea. Retrieved 25 December 2012. 
  12. ^ "Amanda Holden becomes ambassador for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home". Retrieved 10 December 2015. 
  13. ^ "Jacqueline Wilson: toy dog 'most important part of my childhood'". Telegraph. Retrieved 10 December 2015. 
  14. ^ "Celebrity Supporters". Retrieved 25 December 2012. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°28′43″N 0°08′41″W / 51.4785°N 0.1448°W / 51.4785; -0.1448