Battersea Dogs & Cats Home prides itself on never turning away a dog or cat in need of help, and its sterling work over the years has ensured the well-being and safety of neglected mutts and moggies from across the country.
2010 sees the facility celebrating its 150th anniversary, and in those years the home has cared for more than three million dogs and cats. Last year, more than 3,000 dogs were rehomed.
All the dogs that come to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home are given a thorough temperament and behavioural assessment so that the best possible training and help can be given in order to socialise them and prepare them for a new home.
There are currently 300 volunteers helping out at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. It advertises for volunteers as and when an opportunity arises, so it's best to keep checking the website for notification of places.
If you are given the chance to help out, it will require some serious time commitment, as apart from the lengthy training you'll receive, you'll also need time to build up a relationship with the various dogs that you encounter. The home asks that volunteers commit for six months minimum, though of course the longer the better.
The role can be tough and demanding but ultimately rewarding as you train the dog and help it to build confidence in your care, before it's later accepted into a new family.
As a dog socialiser/walker, you'll have the chance to take dogs off site, helping them to gain confidence and experience in a natural environment. Training, playing games, basic grooming and noting observations on behaviour are also part and parcel of a volunteer's role.
If you love dogs (or cats for that matter), then a role as volunteer is something well worth considering. By doing so, you'll be helping to rehome some of the many abandoned dogs that come here, and contributing to a facility that for 150 years has provided a valuable and unique service to the local community and beyond.