Charity’s £1 million bill to care for north Kent’s unwanted pets

PUBLISHED: 14:44 15 July 2011

Battersea Dogs Home
George (7-10) the Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Battersea Dogs Home George (7-10) the Staffordshire Bull Terrier


For the first time the true cost of caring for unwanted animals in north Kent has been revealed - a staggering £3,000 per day equalling almost £1 million a year.

The figure compiled by charity workers at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home accounts for those cared for at the Brands Hatch branch, West Kingsdown, serving Dartford, Gravesend and surrounding areas.

However, the shocking figure across the organisations three sites comes to a staggering £11.8 million to keep lost, abandoned abd unwanted dogs and cats.

An average of two animals every day come in to the Brands Hatch branch, according to figures revealed in the report published this week titled “Celebrating our past, safeguarding our future” – Battersea’s 2010 Annual Review.”

It shows that last year 9,659 dogs and cats came into the Home’s three centres in London, Old Windsor and Brands Hatch. The Kent-based centre cared for 470 dogs and 336 cats in 2010, at an annual cost of £988,844 and on average rehomed one animal every day.

Richard King, Battersea Brands Hatch Centre Manager said: “Nearly 10,000 animals every year would face an uncertain future were it not for Battersea’s three centres, and many of those would be in Kent. It’s 150 years since we were founded and the sheer number of dogs and cats still desperately needing our help on a daily basis is astonishing.

“Sadly these figures tell us that far too many people continue to avoid their responsibilities as pet owners, leading to thousands of lost, unwanted and abandoned animals seeking a second chance through Battersea. Owners also choose to bring their pets to us if they can no longer care for the animal, because of our open intake policy, transparency, and dedication to animal welfare.”

The most common breed of dog coming into Battersea Brands Hatch was the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, accounting for 17 per cent of the canine intake. They were followed by Jack Russell Terriers at 15 per cent, German Shepherds at nine per cent and Mongrels at eight per cent.

Claire Horton, Battersea Chief Executiv, added: “Battersea exists to care for and offer a second chance to so many homeless animals, but we are paying the price for indiscriminate breeding and irresponsible pet owners. Every cat’s stay at our centres costs us on average £353 and it’s almost double that for every dog that comes through our doors.”

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Gravesend Reporter. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Gravesend Reporter