Battersea welcomed its Royal Patron, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall on what is the charity’s 160th Anniversary year.
Her Royal Highness heard how Battersea has continued to care for dogs and cats in need throughout lockdown, and thanks to generous support from its donors has built world-class facilities to help it provide the best possible care for unwanted dogs and puppies.
Battersea staff who have been onsite throughout the pandemic to look after the charity’s homeless dogs and cats met The Duchess of Cornwall on her second visit to the Berkshire rescue centre since she was announced as Royal Patron in February 2017.
They were joined in a special Battersea Guard of Honour by some of the charity’s volunteers who have been temporarily fostering dogs and cats in their own homes throughout lockdown.
During the visit Her Royal Highness officially opened the new The Duchess of Cornwall kennels, a brand-new facility that includes a dedicated maternity area and puppy paddock, as well as outdoor paddocks and chill-out rooms to help unwanted pets thrive in Battersea’s care.
The new facilities will help Battersea provide the very best care to dogs that for whatever reason have to be given up by their owners. The charity has continued to offer help and advice to owners throughout the pandemic, taking in emergency cases during national lockdown, providing behaviour advice through a dedicated advice line manned by the charity’s staff, and most recently expanding its online pet advice offering to include puppy training classes over Zoom.
The Duchess of Cornwall kennels will help young puppies like Ernie, a nine-week-old Pug whose owner’s needed Battersea’s help when their dog rejected her puppies at only few days old. Her Royal Highness met Ernie on her visit today and heard how he and his brother have since found loving homes.
Claire Horton, Chief Executive at Battersea said: “We are always thrilled to welcome our wonderful Royal Patron The Duchess of Cornwall to our centres to see first-hand the vital work we are carrying out to help dogs and cats that need our help. Today’s visit was also an occasion to officially open our brand-new kennel facilities that will offer some of our most vulnerable dogs the space, comfort, and level of care they desperately need.
“Over recent weeks we have come to the rescue of a number of puppies whose owners have struggled to care for them, and in the coming months we anticipate a greater demand for our services from pet owners who have brought dogs and puppies during lockdown. Sometimes being a loving pet owner means making tough decisions, but at Battersea we are always here to help, as we have been for 160 years.
“Our focus is to provide these animals with the very best quality care whilst we seek new homes for them, and we are so incredibly grateful to Battersea’s generous donors who enable us to continue doing this. Thanks to their support we are now able to open these new facilities for our animals in what has been an exceptional and challenging year for all charities and rescue centres.”