Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is the best-known animal sanctuary in the world. Since it first opened its doors in 1860, millions of abandoned and abused pets have benefited from its refuge. Around the world Battersea is a byword for compassion and hope. It hasn't always been this way. Victorian London had little time for canine strays, and homeless dogs were routinely destroyed. During its early years the Home was threatened by financial crises, eviction and legal action by neighbours upset by the constant barking. Yet the Home not only survived, it thrived. Here is the story of this remarkable institution. At its heart are the characters that made Battersea what it is today, from Mary Tealby, the extraordinary founder of the Home, to Airedale Jack, the dog who became a hero in the trenches of the Great War. Through both triumphs and tragedies, it is a book that will warm the hearts of animal lovers everywhere.
"It's fantastic that Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is still going strong after 150 years. As a dog lover myself, I fully support the work of the Home. Rescuing a dog or cat is such a fulfilling and rewarding experience as I have found with Buster, Olga and Bullseye! I would recommend anyone to consider getting their pet from a rescue home like Battersea. It's great to think of the thousands of animals they've helped over the years - long may it continue!" -- Paul O'Grady "For 150 years Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has been salvation for thousands of dogs and cats. The staff are incredible and I sincerely wishand hope they are around for at least another 150 years" -- Simon Cowell "Congratulations Battersea! The cats and dogs who find their way here are the lucky ones" -- Judi Dench "The story is all here: compassion, determination, adversity, politics, wartime cares, 21st Century carelessness." -- Libby Purves Mail on Sunday 20100725