Battersea Dogs and Cats Home is expanding outside of its namesake district and existing centres.
The animal rescue shelter launched its Battersea Communities Scheme in September 2019 and is developing its network in Guildford.
The scheme introduced a system of Community Rehoming Volunteers (CRVs) who provide temporary direct rehoming, meaning another animals can be looked after at one of the three conventional physical centres.
Emma Harrison, Battersea’s communities manager, said: “The Communities project is about helping to rehome more animals but it is also about expanding Battersea’s reach.
“We want to expand our influence and impact beyond our traditional catchment areas.”
Living in a temporary home out in the community will mean dogs and cats who have been in a centre for a long time get more exposure to the public.
The animals in the Communities Scheme have already been deemed suitable for rehoming by a vet and CRVs will play an active role in finding them a home.
Guildford is the first and only community hub and Battersea hope to launch another one in a different location later this year.
Charlotte Fielder, head of communities said: “We wish to recruit local people to help build our first Battersea Community and rehome many dogs and cats in and around Guildford.”
Battersea is still working to establish the Communities Scheme in Guildford and the project is in the early stages. Once ready the shelter hopes to recruit 10 CRVs in total in each location.
This will enable Battersea to rehome at least 100 animals per Community each year.
Ms Harrison said: “By working at a local community level, we can bring Battersea to new audiences and enable more people to interact with us and benefit from our services, with greater ease and convenience.”
Over the next five years, Battersea aims to establish ten communities and rehome 2,000 animals.
Photos courtesy of Jonathan Tennant