Dog

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The shelter is currently home to about 100 cats and dogs

A shelter for cats and dogs has had to stop accepting rescue animals due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Battersea Cats And Dogs Home said it had suspended its intake and feared it would have to take in a larger-than-average number of animals once it is able to open its doors again.

Its three sites are currently home for about 100 cats and dogs.

Head of centre operations Rob Young said it was the “first time in our history we’ve closed to the public”.

The centre, which has sites in London, Berkshire and Kent, said it would only accept rescue animals in emergencies.

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PA Media

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Officials said it was the “first time in our history we’ve closed to the public”

Mr Young said the shelter would “normally average about eight dogs and six cats that come into us every day”.

The animals, now in kennels and cattery pens, are receiving the “same, if not better, care and attention than they normally would do” despite the strict measures, Mr Young said.

“All the dogs are taken out at least twice a day, the cats are well looked after and given lots of cuddles.”

With not enough foster homes available among volunteers and staff, behavioural experts and vets were consulted to determine which of the centres’ animals would cope best with an extended period at a shelter.

Only staff involved in the direct care of the animals are currently allowed on site.

“We’re certainly able to use our paddocks and play areas that we have,” Mr Young added.

“We’re using brain games for them as well, so keeping them entertained using lots of different ways.”

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