Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has launched a new centre for professional development that will support rescue and rehoming organisations across the world.

The Battersea Academy brings the charity’s 158-years’ experience to the fore and will equip animal welfare practitioners with the insight and skills they need to increase their impact on unwanted dogs and cats.

Delivered by the charity’s own experts, the Battersea Academy’s educational programmes are designed to give participants the knowledge and practical skills they need to operate their own rescue and rehoming centres effectively and to the highest possible standards.

Based at the charity’s iconic south London centre, the aim of the programme is to enable every rescue, whatever their size, and resources, to do the best with what they have. Subjects explored through the training programme include ethical decision making, the animal journey, and introducing change, delivered through a mixture of classroom, workshop, and practical hands-on training involving Battersea animals. Each programme is tailored to the organisation’s needs and can last between 2 and 5 days.

Battersea Academy helps rescue and rehoming centres worldwide

Battersea Deputy Chief Executive Peter Laurie, says:

“At Battersea, we strive to improve the lives of every dog and cat. For 158 years our charity has rescued and rehomed dogs and cats in need of our help across the UK. Now we’re using our unparalleled experience and expertise to help dogs and cats beyond our gates, using the knowledge we’ve gained over years of working on the frontline to help improve the lives of many more dogs and cats that we will never see.”

Several rescue and rehoming organisations have already participated in the Battersea Academy, including Manchester & Cheshire Dogs Home, North Clywd Animal Rescue, Yorkshire Cat Rescue, the Australian Animal Protection Society, and five animal organisations from Croatia. Battersea hopes the Academy will provide support to 40 organisations over the next two years.

Where possible, the Battersea Academy will organise programmes to include delegates from rescues across a particular country or region to enhance opportunities for networking and sharing of experiences.

Sofia Pavlin, Committee Member for Udruga Snoopy in Croatia, said:

“I feel the biggest impact from the programme for us has been seeing what can be achieved with the limited resources we have and understanding the small steps we can take that will eventually lead to achieving those results in the long term. It may take us some time to bring in all the improvements we would like, but just a few small changes here and there have really enhanced the quality of life for our dogs and volunteers.”

Dora Perši, Vice president at Udruga Indigo in Croatia, said:

“We were very proud to be involved in the Battersea Academy and taking part in the programme has certainly helped us think about how we best operate our own rescue centre in Croatia to ensure we have the biggest impact for animals. One of our founders was originally a volunteer at Battersea and we have always considered Battersea as a role model for how best to help abandoned and unwanted animals. It was great to get further insight into how they have developed their policies and structure so that we can look at applying this learning to our own organisation.”

Rescue and rehoming organisations interested in registering for the Battersea Academy should contact or register their interest online at