Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has launched its largest-ever fundraising appeal, with which it aims to raise almost £2m to rebuild kennel facilities.
The funding will enable the 153-year-old charity to pull down its oldest Victorian kennels and replace them with a state-of-the-art facility that will cost £1.9m.
The new kennel facilities will feature dedicated sleeping, eating and playing areas, as well as under-floor heating and outdoor exercise pens.
Claire Horton, chief executive of the charity, was joined by celebrity ambassadors Paul O’Grady, Dame Jacqueline Wilson and Amanda Holden in laying the cornerstone for the new facility this week.
The charity expects to complete the new kennels by the end of the year.
It aims to pay for the facility by encouraging its supporters to ‘pay for a day’ and donate £15.70 each, equivalent to the cost of a day’s care for a dog at the home.
"The new kennels should help dogs pass through the home more quickly and be more relaxed when they meet prospective owners, which can only help their chances of finding a new family," said Horton. "We saw a 30 per cent increase in cat rehoming when we opened our new cattery in 2010, so we are expecting a similar impact for our dogs."