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Shoppers on London’s Tottenham Court Road last night discovered that Battersea rescue dogs had taken the best sofa spots in the flagship stores of DFS, Dwell, Futon Company, Heal’s, and West Elm.

The Battersea takeover of Tottenham Court Road was aimed at reminding commuters and shoppers that no house is a home without a rescue dog. Animal welfare charity Battersea Dogs & Cats Home teamed up with the leading home and lifestyle retailers in a bid to find more loving homes for its lonely dogs.

10 of the animal charity’s rescue dogs and their handlers made themselves at home on the sofa and stretched out amongst the comfortable soft furnishings on display on the bustling London street. For many of the dogs it was their opportunity to enjoy some time out of kennels and show just how happy they’d be in a new owners’ front room.

Battersea’s Rehoming & Welfare Manager Becky MacIver says, “In a Battersea first we took over the shop fronts of the leading retailers on Tottenham Court Road with our dogs to try and find them new homes. It was a lovely experience for our dogs and an opportunity for them to shine outside of our kennels, but there was a serious message behind this and that’s to remind people that if they are seeking a sofa companion (or sofa hogger!) that rescue is best.”

Earlier this year Battersea revealed that it had seen a drop in its rehoming figures as it faces the growing challenge of people buying pets online or social media. The charity hopes that by raising the profile of its rescue dogs and showing them in a more natural home-like setting that more people will consider a rescue pet instead of buying online.

Becky MacIver adds, “Unfortunately, some people do have misconceptions about rescue dogs, believing them to have lots of issues that will come out once they get them home. In fact, if you visit your local rescue to rehome a dog or cat, you’ll get a full picture of your new pet as it will have had a full medical and behaviour assessment. You’ll know exactly what to expect when you get your new pet home, and then will be supported by our staff after you’ve rehomed. Something you most probably won’t get from buying a pet online.”

“We hope that seeing our dogs snuggling on the sofa with their handlers, or nestling by their feet on a soft rug, will help people see that our dogs are ready to be loved. We’re extremely grateful to all the retailers involved for joining us in spreading the rescue is best message.”

To find out more about the dogs and cats that are ready to be loved at Battersea, visit www.battersea.org.uk

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