Battersea Dogs & Cats Home

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Battersea Dogs & Cats Home
IndustryAnimal welfare
Founded1860; 159 years ago (1860)
FounderMary Tealby
HeadquartersLondon, SW8
United Kingdom
Key people
Claire Horton, Chief Executive
Amanda Burton, Chair

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home (previously Battersea Dogs Home) is an animal shelter that rescues cats and dogs in need of help and nurtures them until an owner or a new home can be found. It was established in Holloway, London in 1860 and moved to Battersea in 1871.

The organisation holds an average of 260 dogs and 220 cats at any given time and has over its history helped more than 3 million dogs and cats.


Battersea Dogs & Cats Home was established in Holloway in 1860 by Mary Tealby (1801–1865)[1] 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.[2]

During World War II, then manager Edward Healey-Tutt advised against people euthanising 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 Battersea Dogs Home to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home (though cats had been admitted since 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 dog 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 kennels.[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.


In 1885, Queen Victoria became patron of the home, and it has remained under royal patronage ever since. HRH Duchess of Cornwall is the current patron,[9] and Prince Michael of Kent is the President.


Established in 1860, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home aims to never turn away a dog or cat in need of help, caring for them until their owners or loving new homes can be found, no matter how long it takes. Battersea champions and supports vulnerable dogs and cats, determined to create lasting changes for animals in society.


Fundraising in London.
  • Battersea Dogs & Cats Home cared for nearly 5,000 dogs and over 3,000 cats in 2015 (over 8,000 animals a year)
  • Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has an average of 260 dogs and 220 cats at any one time on site and on foster
  • The home's average daily intake is thirteen dogs and nine cats
  • The average stay for dogs is 30 days and for cats is 22 days. There is no time limit on how long a dog will stay in Battersea's care until a loving home can be found
  • Across all three sites, the home employs approximately 400 members of staff in a range of operational and administrative roles
  • There are currently 1,200 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]


In 1862, Charles Dickens published an article about the home for the magazine All the Year Round. He called it an "extraordinary monument of the remarkable affection with which the English people regard the race of dogs".[10]

In 1967, Dodie Smith referred to the home in her novel The Starlight Barking.

TV programmes[edit]

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has featured on many television programmes and documentaries. The Channel 4 programme Pet Rescue which aired in 1997 featured Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. BBC One programme Animal Rescue Live was broadcast live for a week at Battersea in July 2007. The programme was presented by Matt Baker and Selina Scott.

Since 2012, ITV's Paul O'Grady: For the Love of Dogs has been filmed at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.[11] The show won multiple awards including two National Television Awards for 'Factual Entertainment'.

In June 2016, the home featured in a Channel 4 series called Rescue Dog to Super Dog, made by Plimsoll Productions.


Celebrity friends[edit]

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is supported by a host of high-profile celebrities who attend Battersea's events, support campaigns and rehome animals including Tom Hardy, Jeremy Irons, Simon Cowell, Sue Barker, Anthony Head, Samantha Barks,[16] Sue Perkins, Craig Revel Horwood, Kirsty Gallacher, Susie Dent, Rosie Marcel, Christian Jessen and Nicky Clarke.

Notable alumni[edit]


The home receives no government funding and is run almost entirely on donations from the public. In April 2017 the Information Commissioner’s Office fined eleve

/ico-fines-eleven-more-charities/|title=ICO fines eleven more charities|date=7 April 2017|publisher=|accessdate=14 April 2017}}</ref> In its accounts for the year 2015 Battersea disclosed that it had generated income of £36.7 million and had spent £28.5 million.[19]

The charity's accounts for 2016 show that in that year its highest paid employee earned "£130,001 - £140,000".[20]


Battersea Park station for National Rail and Queenstown Road 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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^[permanent dead link] Oxford Dictionary of National Biography of Mary Tealby
  2. ^[permanent dead link] More on Mary Tealby and the founding of the home
  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. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. 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 Dogs & Cats Home. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  7. ^ "Rain Rescue teams up with Battersea to show the true soft nature of Staffies". Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. 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. ^ Pet Planet Archived 21 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 28 March 2008
  10. ^ Holly Williams (13 August 2010). "Creature comfort: Why London's first dogs' home was met with howls of". The Independent. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ "First Ambassador David Gandy". Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013. Retrieved 25 December 2012.
  13. ^ "Puppy Love for Paul". Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013. Retrieved 25 December 2012.
  14. ^ "Jacqueline Wilson: toy dog 'most important part of my childhood'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  15. ^ "Amanda Holden becomes ambassador for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home". Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. Archived from the original on 11 December 2015. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  16. ^ "Samantha Barks joins Battersea in appealing for Volunteer dog fosterers". Retrieved 14 April 2017.
  17. ^ "Palmerston takes up office again as Westminster welcomes its second Battersea cat". Retrieved 14 April 2017.
  18. ^ "Gladstone the cat lands Treasury job". BBC News. 29 July 2016. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  19. ^ "Charity overview". Retrieved 14 April 2017.
  20. ^

External links[edit]

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