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Don't have a cold and lonely Christmas! - Battersea can help

Don’t let this Christmas be lonely – foster a Battersea animal.

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home hopes its dog and cat fostering scheme can transform Christmas for those due to spend the festive season alone.

The charity is looking to recruit new dog and cat foster carers, who can take animals into their home and care for them while they recover from operations, or to give them a break from kennel or cattery life.

Volunteer Manager Carly Whyborn hopes the scheme will appeal to those who live alone and are looking for companionship over the festive season. She explains: “For many people being alone at Christmas is exceptionally hard and very lonely. Caring for a furry friend gives people a sense of purpose, and could completely transform Christmas those who can’t spend it with friends or family.”

Battersea is looking for foster carers who can look after animals beyond Christmas, but anyone who successfully applies now should be able to have their first foster animal before Christmas. Foster carers can live within two hours’ drive of one of Battersea’s three centres in south London, Old Windsor or Brands Hatch.

Carly continues: “Fostering is an on-going commitment, so our foster carers look after animals when they are able to throughout the year. It can be ideal for people who live alone or work from home and would like companionship, and we tailor the animal to their level of experience. So they could be caring for a tiny abandoned kitten, or an elderly dog who is finding kennel life tough.”

Fostering is highlighted in episode six of Battersea’s ITV1 series on Monday 8 October at 8pm, Paul O’Grady. For The Love Of Dogs. Viewers will see three year old Staffie Comet being fostered, to give him a break from kennels.

Battersea currently has 98 dog and 69 cat foster carers across its three centres, and Carly hopes to recruit 25 more by the end of the year. Ideal candidates need to have time to spend with their animal at home, a willingness to learn about animal behaviour and welfare, and be able to bring their foster animal to Battersea when needed. Families with older children can be considered if the children are sensible and follow instructions.

All foster carers receive:
• Full training in dog or cat behaviour and welfare
• All the food, equipment and medication your foster animal needs
• Reimbursement of travel expenses
• Advice and support from Battersea’s foster coordinators
• The benefits of owning a dog or cat on a temporary basis
• Dog fosters can increase their fitness levels through dog walking
• The opportunity to work with the most famous and best-loved animal rescue charity in the world

For more information about dog fostering visit www.battersea.org.uk/fostering and for cat fostering visit http://www.battersea.org.uk/cats/fostering

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