Look Beyond a Pet’s Pedigree

15th January 2020

It’s no secret that we love dogs putting their paws to the pavement at The Pantiles! We welcome pooches of all pedigrees and all shapes and sizes.

With this in mind, leading animal charity Battersea is warning that rescue dogs are being overlooked due to the public’s preoccupation with fashionable breeds.

Rescue is Our Favourite Breed

They recently launched a ground-breaking new campaign, ‘Rescue is Our Favourite Breed’, to celebrate the inimitable characters and quirks of rescue dogs and cats. The charity is encouraging animal lovers to always think rescue first when it comes to finding their new pet, even if it may mean waiting a little longer to find the perfect match.

Every year, 250,000 animals are brought to rescue centres around the UK for all kinds of reasons. Most are much loved pets that through no fault of their own find themselves without a home. They may be an odd mix of breeds, they may not look perfect, but they have so much to give.

Battersea’s research shows that whilst 92% of people say they believe rescue is the right thing to do, when the time comes to get a new pet, many choose to go online and search for a specific breed instead. Last year there were, on average, 165,000 monthly searches online for ‘French Bulldogs’. A fifth of people who say they wouldn’t consider rescue say they can’t get the type of breed they want from a rescue centre and over half (52%) say the animals in rescue centres often have health or behavioural problems, and don’t know their full history.

Claire Horton, Battersea’s Chief Executive, says; “Even though one in four dogs and cats are rescues, you’re still more likely to hear about French Bulldogs, or Labradors being the nation’s favourite pets. Our preoccupation with breed is fuelling a ruthless pet trade based on looks alone – one that can sadly put profit before animal welfare.” She adds: “Battersea is setting out to increase the visibility of rescue animals, to show they’re more common than you think, and are in homes across the nation. They’re the most rewarding, responsible choice for a pet, and we’re hoping to bring them front of mind – to get all generations of animal lovers to think rescue first.”

Last year Battersea rehomed 2,301 dogs and 2,140 cats. The charity has seen a notable reduction in rehoming over recent years as more people search online for fashionable breeds and are influenced by what they see on social media. They hope the ‘Rescue Is Our Favourite Breed’ campaign will help break down some of the misconceptions people have about rescue animals, encouraging them to see rescue as desirable and a badge of honour.

Rob Young, Battersea’s Head of Operations, says: “People think rescue dogs or cats will be harder to train than a puppy or kitten, or that it’s just not as prestigious to own a pet that hasn’t come from a breeder. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. Ask any proud rescue owner and they will tell you that rescue pets are the best pets. They may not be perfect, but they’re worth it”.

Belle from Tonbridge, Kent

Amongst the animals to feature in the new campaign is beautiful Belle, a lively three-year-old Lurcher from Tonbridge in Kent.

Belle’s owner, Giovanna Trani-Brown says; “People may have reservations about visiting a rescue centre, thinking that all of the animals would have been given up for serious medical or behavioural problems, but dogs like Belle show that this couldn’t be further from the truth. Sure, she can be a bit cheeky sometimes, but she also has a unique personality that makes my family and I love her even more. I’m proud to be a rescue owner and hope this campaign will show people that rescue animals are legends in their own right and have so much to give.”

Collared – The Pantiles

Collared in The Pantiles is a source of top-quality products from around the world for dogs and dog lovers. These include Puppia, West Paw, Wacky Walker, Rough Wear, Walters, Hunter and Flexi. It’s the pawfect venue to for your pooch – whatever their breed! Be sure to pop in next time you visit The Pantiles.