Primary school children are helping to give some of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home’s loneliest dogs a voice.
Battersea’s four loneliest residents have been constantly overlooked, so the world-famous shelter has enlisted some young helpers to get them noticed.
Children, aged six to eight, have put themselves in these dogs’ paws and written ‘when they grow up’ pictures and letters from the dogs’ perspectives.
Meet the Battersea dogs, dreaming of a grown-up life beyond kennel walls…
“When I grow up, my friends at Battersea say I will have a family, but I don’t know what that means. I think I used to have one once, but it was so long ago I don’t remember.” – Neo, Lurcher.
Neo has one of the saddest stories of any dog in Battersea. This young boy arrived at Battersea’s Old Windsor centre from another rescue centre over a year ago. Aged just two, Neo has now been in kennels for half his adult life. Neo was originally a stray, so no one knows where he came from. When he was found he was very underweight, but still bounding around with enthusiasm. Neo’s a lovely-natured boy and he’s been in kennels for far too long. It’s time he finally learned what family means.
Picture by eight-year-old Carrie Sales.
“When I grow up, I will live in a house with a big garden. And I will have a family who are patient and kind and they will show me the world isn’t as scary as I sometimes think it is.” – Kezzie, Collie-cross.
Seven-year-old Collie-cross Kezzie sometimes finds life scary and overwhelming, and often needs Battersea staff’s reassurance to show her that there’s no monster under the bed. Kezzie’s shy nature has led to her being overlooked since she arrived at Battersea’s Brands Hatch centre over 560 days ago - making her the charity’s unluckiest dog. Kezzie may take a while to get to know you but, once she trusts you, she’s the most loyal friend you’ll ever have.
Picture by six-year-old Beatrix Buckfield.
“I don’t like being left alone, because I’m scared my family won’t come back. When I grow up, I will have a family who will always come home to me.” – Indie, Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
One-year-old Staffie Indie was a much-loved pet, but sadly her owners’ circumstances changed and they were no longer able to look after her. They brought Indie to Battersea’s London centre and she soon found a new home, but it wasn’t quite the right fit - so she’s ended up back at the charity again. Indie really struggles with kennel life. She loves being around people and gets very upset when she’s left alone. This gentle girl has spent a lot of her life being left behind. She’s hoping next time she goes home, it will be forever.
Picture by eight-year-old Elizabeth Pearce and letter by six-year-old Eleanor Webb.
“When I grow up I will live with a Greyhound brother, and he will come on adventures with me and be by my side always. And I will have lots of human friends too, so I will never be alone.” – Sally, Greyhound.
Sweet Sally is a lovely-natured Greyhound who finds life in the kennels stressful, and copes much better when she’s kennelled with one of her Greyhound friends. The three-year-old would be lonely without a canine companion, so she’s looking for a home with another dog. Like many Greyhounds who come into Battersea, Sally is an ex-racer who’s looking to put life on the track behind her and put her paws up on a sofa.
Picture by eight-year-old Alexandra Rose Pearce.