Her Majesty the Queen will officially open a new £4.8million kennel development at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home today. She will be accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh.
A keen dog lover, the Queen has been patron of the charity since 1956 and previously visited the shelter in 1991.
She will be shown around the world-famous rescue centre and learn about how the new facilities, named after Battersea’s founder Mary Tealby, will improve the experience of lost, abandoned and unwanted dogs who come to the shelter.
Claire Horton, chief executive of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home said it is an honour to have the royal patron visit the home and see the animals that are cared for by the charity on the most important day for the shelter in decades.
She said: “We are truly thrilled her majesty is opening our new kennels.
“The development was inspired by the needs of, and our love for, our animals.”
Since opening its doors in 1860, Battersea has rescued and re-homed more than three million dogs and cats with 5,000 new arrivals last year alone.
Over the last three years, the charity has reported an 84% increase in the number of people wanting to give up their pets with an estimated 13 dogs arriving daily.
The new development which has been a year in the making replaces the old Victorian facilities and is the biggest in the home’s history.
It was designed to house 56 of the most vulnerable dogs that will be cared for by almost 50 staff and volunteers on a daily basis.
The kennels are each fitted with built-in speakers and external run area and are designed to awaken and interest the dogs’ senses with paddling pools, climbing mounds and other play equipment.
Picture courtesy of 8 Kome, with thanks