Where to find help

Animal rescue organisations in the UK


Many businesses contribute towards animal welfare. Even major car insurance sites such as moneysupermarket, lowdepositcarinsuranceor confused.com are reputed to contribute anonymously. Much of the money raised from corporate sponsorship helps to fund some of the charities below.

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home

The Battersea Dogs and Cats Home is an independent animal shelter with three sites in London and South East England. They aim to never turn away a dog or cat in need, and they care for over 8000 animals each year. Dogs and cats in good health are available for adoption, but there is no limit to how long an animal can live with the charity. The Battersea branch often features in TV programmes, including the Channel 4 series Paul O'Grady: For the Love of Dogs, and the charity has many celebrity supporter including Elton John, Jacqueline Wilson and their patron, Queen Elizabeth. Their telephone number is 0843 509 4444.

Blue Cross

Blue Cross is a national animal welfare charity, which aims to educate the public in the responsibilities of pet ownership. Founded in 1897 to care for working horses, they now provide veterinary treatment to pets whose owners cannot afford private fees, rehome unwanted pets and offer a horse ambulance service. They operate 4 veterinary hospitals in England and run mobile clinics nationwide, and rehome almost 10,000 animals a year through their network of adoption centres. The telephone number for the Blue Cross is 0300 790 9903.

Cats Protection

Cats Protection is a national charity dedicated to cat rescue. They rescue and rehome stray cats and manage feral cat populations across the UK. They have 29 adoption centres and over 250 branches where volunteers care for and foster rescued cats. Cats protection finds homes for over 40,000 cats each year, and neuters or spays over 150,000 more. They can be contacted at 03000 12 12 12.

Dogs Trust

Dogs Trust is a national dog rescue charity. They specialise in finding new homes for abandoned dogs, and have 21 rehoming centres across the UK. In 2016 they cared for 15,343 dogs, and placed over 13,000 of these in loving homes. They are proud that "We never put a healthy dog down" and offer homes for life to dogs which are unsuitable for rehoming. Dogs trust can be contacted at 0207 837 0006.

Donkey Sanctuary

The Donkey Sanctuary was founded in 1969 to rescue abused donkeys and is now one of the largest equine charities in the world. They now have sanctuaries in nine European countries including the UK, Ireland, Cyprus and Romania, and provide a permanent home for over 4,000 donkeys. They also operate in developing countries where working donkeys are common. These projects offer education and veterinary care to donkey owners, administering over 300,000 treatments each year. Their telephone number is 01395 578222.

Greyhound Trust

The Greyhound Trust is a national organisation who find homes for retired racing greyhounds. Since 1975, the charity has rehomed over 85,000 greyhounds, and continues to place over 4,000 dogs each year. The Trust has a network of over 50 branches nationwide staffed by over 1,000 volunteers and most branches have dogs available for adoption. The telephone number for the Trust is 0208 335 3016.

Hillside Animal Sanctuary

Hillside Animal Sanctuary is the Uk's largest sanctuary for horses and farm animals. Hillside gives a home to over 2,000 animals including horses, cattle, sheep, pigs and alpacas at two sites in Norfolk, and they also have an undercover investigation unit which works to expose cases of cruelty to farm animals. Their telephone number is 0844 884 5111.


The PDSA (Peoples Dispensary for Sick Animals) is a national charity providing free veterinary care to pets whose owners have a low income. They also offer preventative care such as vaccination, neutering and microchipping to all pet owners, at cost. Founded during World War I, the charity now has 48 hospitals and clinics across the UK, and they also offer education on pet health and campaign for better animal welfare and health. The PDSA can be reached at 0800 0199 166.


The RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) is the oldest animal welfare charity in the world. Founded in 1824 as an advocacy organisation, it now employs over 1,500 staff and has responsibilities including advocacy, pet rehoming, wildlife rehabilitation and even law enforcement. The RSPCA has a particular focus on cases of animal cruelty and neglect, and they investigate reports and bring private prosecutions against people who are seen to have broken the law. Neglected animals are seized by RSPCA inspectors and cared for by the charity.

They own four animal hospitals which provide veterinary treatment to animals rescued by RSPCA inspectors, and also treat pets whose owners cannot otherwise afford care. There are RSPCA welfare branches across England and Wales, rehoming over 50,000 pets each year. The main telephone number for the RSPCA is 0300 123 4999, if you want to get involved or if you need to report neglect or abuse.


The SSPCA (Scottish Society for the prevention of Cruelty to Animals) promotes animal welfare in Scotland. The charity operates only in Scotland, and has law enforcement powers under Scottish law. They care for injured wildlife in special rescue centres, treat and rehome abandoned pets and provide a free visiting education service to Scottish schools. The telephone number for the SSPCA is 03000 999 999. Donations are welcome from anyone, but the charity only operates within Scotland.


Tiggiwinkles, also known as St Tiggiwinkles, is a charity and animal hospital specialising in the treatment and rehabilitation of wild animals—particularly injured hedgehogs. The organisation is named after Mrs Tiggiwinkle, the hedgehog character created by Beatrix Potter, and also teaches public awareness of wildlife welfare and offers education in wild animal practice to UK vets. If you want to get involved or if you have found an injured wild animal their telephone number is 01844 292 292.