Dedicated volunteers at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home’s iconic London centre have transformed the centre into an urban jungle, thanks to the support from players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.

The gardening volunteers used their spare time to transform the centre into a greener, more enriched area for animals and human which will give the dogs the opportunity to explore new and interesting smells and hopefully provide a calming effect.

Katie Morgan, Head Gardening Volunteer at Battersea said, “I’ve been volunteering at Battersea since 2011 and being here allows me to combine two of my favourite things-gardening and animals!”

Sighthound sniffs the new plants
Credit: Battersea

Before Katie and her team started, the vast centre was comprised of concrete paths and tarmacked paddocks with very little greenery. Knowing how much dogs love to sniff, Katie and her team set to work transforming the neglected unused areas of the Home into special exercise areas where dogs can enjoy themselves in times of stress and confusion.

Katie continues, “Across the centre we’ve grown a variety of different plants, from rosemary to lavender and mint, all of which are safe for dogs and will give them plenty to smell. We’ve also been busy creating a sensory garden for the dogs, which include windchimes and sand and gravel pits for the dogs to explore in.”

Sighthound sniffs the new plants
Credit: Battersea

Thanks to the People’s Postcode Lottery, £100,000 was awarded to Battersea’s Fostering and Volunteering department, which has contributed towards the cost of materials.

Steve Craddock, Centre Manager at Battersea said, “Katie’s work really has been invaluable. Not only does the centre look nicer with all of the greenery, but the plants really benefit our animals.

“Coming to a new environment where there is so much going on can be very unsettling for dogs and cats, but the plants here really help to settle our animals and let them be themselves again. We’re so thankful for the generous support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, as none of this would be possible without them.”

To find out about volunteering opportunities at Battersea, click here.

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