British actress and singer Samantha Barks, best known for the role of Éponine in Les Misérables is joining Battersea Dogs & Cats Home in appealing for more foster carers to help offer a temporary home to the charity’s most vulnerable dogs.
The actress is a frequent visitor to the world-famous charity and has fostered Battersea dogs in need of a little TLC and time away from kennels.
With a busy schedule of auditioning for roles, recording her own music and playing live shows, Samantha was hesitant to commit to the rehoming of a Battersea dog. However as a dog lover all her life, she wanted to do what she can for lost, abandoned and unwanted dogs and soon found out about temporary foster caring at Battersea.
“I love being able to make a difference to dogs that find kennel life too stressful at Battersea, giving them time in a normal home environment before their new owner arrives. If you can’t commit to owning a dog, fostering is ideal”.
Samantha now regularly fosters Battersea dogs to give them a break from kennel life and some love and attention in a home environment, from a few nights, to a few weeks. The actress is urging others to get involved, and promises the experience is just as rewarding for you as it is for the dog.
“The most rewarding thing about fostering is seeing how even the smallest amount of love and attention can transform a dog’s behaviour, making them happier and more sociable”.
Battersea relies on dog foster carers to help its dogs that are too anxious to cope with the kennel environment or are recovering from medical conditions. In 2015 volunteer foster carers helped care for 597 dogs, but the charity is always in need of more temporary homes for its animals.
This year Battersea’s Volunteering and Fostering programme will be expanding thanks to an incredible award of £200,000 from players of People’s Postcode Lottery. This generous support will help the Home to recruit additional volunteers to support every element of the Home’s activity, and new foster carers who will open up their own homes for Battersea’s dogs and cats waiting patiently for their new lives to begin. Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have now awarded an incredible £850,000 to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home since 2014 and the impact of their generosity is felt every day by Battersea staff, volunteers and animals.
The appeal for more Battersea dog fosters comes during National Volunteering Week, running from 1-12 June which celebrates the immense contribution volunteers are making to charities across the UK.
Anyone interested in fostering a Battersea dog can visit www.battersea.org.uk/fostering