The Battersea dog and cat home

Everyone loves getting about London on two legs: it’s what makes Foxtrail, the urban treasure-map experience so much fun. Our route does not take us near Battersea, where those with four legs haven’t been so lucky in life.

The Battersea dog and cat home is famous for taking in abandoned animals who, through no fault of their own, are unable to enjoy life in London as they deserved.

Every year, the charity, made even more popular by the television series Paul O’Grady: For The Love Of Dogs, helps 7,000 animals get the care and treatment they need.

Some of them arrive in a terrible condition after either being mistreated or simply abandoned and left to fend for themselves.

Others are gifted to the charity because their loving owners are unable to care for them anymore, for a number of reasons, including illness.

There is also a centre in Old Windsor, Berkshire, and Brands Hatch in Kent


Visiting Battersea London

The iconic animal home has been at Battersea since 1871. It’s open every day to visitors who are considering adopting a dog or a cat, to come and meet them. There are guidelines to follow before this process can happen, so visit the website for more information.

As there is no Government funding for its work, Battersea reluctantly charges an entry fee for visitors, although this is £2 for adults and £1 for children up to 15 and for concessions. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

The home is open to visitors from 10.30 to 4 pm every day, although you should check the website for details of Christmas closures.


Paul O’Grady: For The Love of Dogs

The ITV show has been a runaway success, thrilling the audience and often moving them to tears in the process.

Dog-lover Paul, an official Battersea Ambassador, visits the homes in Battersea, Old Windsor and Brands Hatch to follow the fortunes of various dogs looking for loving new homes.

The BAFTA-nominated programme also sees Paul exploring the work of Battersea’s vet Shaun and canine behaviour trainer Ali.

One of the stories in the latest series follows the fortune of a Dachshund mum and her puppies. It’s believed she escaped from a puppy farm. Paul also makes friends with a Saluki called Chester,  found seriously injured after being abandoned by the side of a road,

Meanwhile, viewers would be touched by the story of Pug-terrier cross Florence, who was subjected to a hit and run and faced amputation. Paul’s friend and fellow Battersea supporter Jennifer Saunders fell in love immediately.


Support the Battersea dog and cats home

The charity relies on your support, and there are a number of ways you can help.

You can make monthly donations or a one-off payment, or you can sponsor one of the kennels or Kitty Kabins. £5 a month will provide each new dog arriving in your kennel with the blankets, toys and treats they need to keep warm and happy during their stay!

We’re proud of the attraction we have launched in London, giving people exercise and fresh air while enjoying Foxtrail, our “walking” escape room. So, when we’re mentioned in the media, we get a warm glow.

Just recently, our research about teamwork was picked up by many of the national newspapers. The subject of teamwork resonates with us because so many businesses choose to send their staff on Foxtrail for a team-building activity.

You see, teams must work together to find and solve our puzzles and clues in order to progress along our secret walking route in the capital. Families and friends love Foxtrail, too, and while they’re out to have fun together, they show off fantastic teamwork skills in the process.

We commissioned research to see just how prevalent – or otherwise – team culture was in British offices and workplaces. To our surprise, one in five people said they preferred working alone. It seems there truly is no ‘I’ in team! Those people like to think of themselves as a lone wolf who gets frustrated having to work with others.

That figure will raise a few eyebrows for bosses who want all their staff to work together for the common benefit of the business. However, at least our research showed four out of five employees did enjoy working as part of a team.

The Foxtrail research clearly caught the attention of the media, with the story appearing in The Sun, The Mirror and the Independent.

A Foxtrail spokesman told the publications: “Working as a team can be so rewarding, whether in work or in play.

“Sometimes sharing ideas and working as a collective, whether that’s in the home, on a night out, during a team task or in sports, is far more likely to get better results.

“And the camaraderie of being in a team can bring joy, excitement and fun even to the most arduous tasks.”

Foxtrail launched in London early in 2019 offering a unique attraction for visitors and locals, together with corporate or group parties.

The first route begins close to St Paul’s Cathedral from where teams must find and solve clues, puzzles or codes in order to progress to the next destination. By working together, teams can combine observational and detective skills to their advantage.

A good team will get around the first Foxtrail route, called Lancelot, in a little over 2.5 hours. For others, it can take anything up to four hours. And don’t worry about anyone getting stuck: participants can call the special Foxtrail hotline at any time to get help.

If you’d like to put your team through its paces with Foxtrail, or if you want to book tickets for your family, friends or school party, then visit the Foxtrail website for more information.

Our research also found that almost two-thirds of Brits felt it was important to be a team player to have friends, while 67 per cent said it was needed to be successful at work.

The Foxtrail spokesman concluded: “Our new London interactive trail is designed to bring people together, allowing them to explore parts of London they never knew existed while solving clues to get around the trail. It’s certainly one of those tasks that can’t be completed alone.”