Battersea Dogs & Cats Home today laid the first stone on new state of the art kennels that will transform the lives of thousands of stray and unwanted dogs each year.
The world famous animal rescue charity has launched its biggest ever public appeal, aiming to raise £1.9 million to help it continue providing a home to around 6,000 dogs every year. The appeal will enable the charity to pull down its oldest Victorian kennels and replace them with brand new facilities designed to improve and speed up each dogs journey through the home.
Battersea chief executive Claire Horton joined the charity’s four ambassadors David Gandy, Paul O’Grady MBE, Dame Jacqueline Wilson and Amanda Holden to lay the cornerstone of the new kennels, which are expected to be completed and in use by hundreds of stray and unwanted dogs by the end of 2014.
The new kennels have been designed by Battersea and Jonathan Clark Architects with dogs’ every need in mind, with dedicated sleeping, eating and playing areas, under-floor heating and outdoor exercise pens.
Ms Horton explained: “Battersea originally offered a lifeline to stray dogs in Victorian times. Today, 153 years later, our need to help stray, abandoned and unwanted dogs is just as great, but our ancient kennels are no longer good enough. While our staff can give the dogs the love and care they so desperately need, we must ensure our kennels offer the right facilities. So we urgently need to bring our kennels into the 21st Century and ensure we can continue to offer the best possible care to our animals for many years to come.”
Demand for Battersea’s services is at an all-time high, and the charity currently receives more than 1,000 calls a month from people wanting to give up their dog. On average, 14 dogs come through Battersea’s gates in need of help, every single day.
As a charity, Battersea receives no central Government funding towards the care of its animals, and relies heavily on the support of the public. It is calling on the public to “Pay for a Day” by donating £15.70, which will pay for a day’s care for a Battersea dog and help the charity to rebuild their lives.
- For more information on the appeal and to “pay for a day”, visit www.battersea.org.uk/kennelappeal