Animal welfare

The Vision and Values of Wood Green, The Animals Charity is to remain at the forefront of animal welfare in the UK and overseas. In order to ensure we maintain this, we need to keep up-to-date with the issues facing pet owners. 

Public viewing within the animal sections

Various studies worldwide have shown that a constant stream of strangers viewing dogs is extremely stressful for them, leading to excessive barking, hiding and panting. So in the best interests of their welfare, Wood Green have taken the decision, in line with other leading charities, to limit our kennel viewing to people who are actively looking for a new canine companion.

We understand that some will be disappointed by not being able to visit the dogs; however our animals' welfare is always our overriding priority. It is also expected that by making their stay at Wood Green significantly less stressful we will be able to get our dogs into their homes more quickly.

If you are interested in rehoming a dog please visit our dog rehoming section.

Below are some of the projects and campaigns that we are currently involved in:

Keeping your pets safe from fireworks

As a charity our aim is to proactively educate people on the issues associated with the use of fireworks. In doing this we are keen to reduce the impact of fireworks on people and their pets.

During 2009 we carried out a firework questionnaire, receiving over 2,500 responses, below are the key findings from our questionnaire:

  • 70% felt that existing laws should be tightened
  • 80% want fireworks to be restricted to organised displays
  • 21% of people had heard of low noise fireworks
  • 81% said their favourite thing about fireworks was the visual display

In order to keep your pet(s) safe visit our Pet Advice for further information.

Give a Staffie a chance

One of the most popular of all the terriers, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, often referred to as the 'Staffie', was originally bred as a fighting, ratting and badger baiting dog.

However, the Staffie's renowned courage, tolerance of and patience with people and children soon earned him the nickname 'nanny dog' and enabled him to become one of the most popular pets across the world. Sadly in recent years, the Staffies perceived physical similarities with pit bulls means people are often wrongly frightened of Staffies. Some are mistreated and taught aggressive behaviour so they can be used as 'status' dogs and as an alternative to weapons including knives and guns. The demands for this intimidating fashion trend means Staffies are being born to breed. Sensationalism in the media leads to people overlooking and living in fear of this once loved and treasured breed.

Rehoming centres like Wood Green are seeing significant increases in the numbers of Staffies coming through our their doors. Too many Staffies are being destroyed every day because there is nowhere for them to go.

Therefore Wood Green have launched a campaign called 'Give a Staffie a chance'. The purpose of this campaign is to highlight the plight of Staffies, change public opnion of this once-loved breed and ultimately encourage people to at least consider a Staffie when rehoming a dog.

For further information about this breed download our information leaflet 'The Truth About Staffies' leaflet or contact us.

Neutering awareness campaigns

Our aim is educate owners on the benefits of neutering, in order to reduce the numbers of unwanted animals and to decrease the incidence of associated congenital medical and behavioral conditions.  

We are members of the C4 London Cat Neutering Services with Cats Protection, the Mayhew Animal Home and the RSPCA, offering free voucher-based neutering in the Greater London area. We also run joint neutering campaigns with Cats Protection, the latest being in Peterborough and its surrounding areas. We aim to further this kind of work in partnership with other charities for the greater good of animal welfare, and to further raise the profile of Wood Green. During 2010 we were involved in the neutering of over 15,000 cats through this type of work.


We are a founder member of Rabbit Awareness Week (RAW). Along with a group of likeminded organisations we aim to raise the profile of rabbits as pets, and encourage owners to seek the right veterinary and behaviour advice.  

Dangerous Dogs Act

As part of the Dangerous Dogs Act Study Group (DDASG), and with the support of other animal welfare organisations, local authorities, police and veterinary professional organisations we are actively lobbying the government to improve the existing Dangerous Dogs Act (DDA). We believe that future legislation needs to be improved in order to protect the public against dogs dangerously out of control and without compromising any individual dog’s welfare.

Pet advertising

We are a members of The Pets Advertising Advisory Group (PAAG). The group aims to combat the growing issue of unethical classified advertising of pets. In certain cases, such advertisements are illegally offering dogs banned under the Dangerous Dog Act, endangered animals or advertising establishments which are not fit for the breeding or boarding of animals. We are also concerned that readers of some newspapers and magazines, which carry pet advertising, are not even advised of the basic principles surrounding the selection and purchase of a pet. PAAG have developed a website of resources for both the consumer (buying the pet) and the advertiser.

General animal welfare legislation

Our aim is to support and promote the development of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 (AWA). We are once again working with other animal welfare organisations on the development of Secondary Legislation relating to the AWA. We have been involved in the introduction of secondary legislation regarding greyhounds. Our current priority is to lobby the government in order to move forwards on the proposed secondary legislation regarding sanctuaries and small rescues. We feel strongly that these organisations should be monitored to ensure that the animals in their care are offered appropriate standards of welfare.

Geriatric cats

Working with the Feline Advisory Bureau (FAB) we aim to carry out research in order to quantify the quality of life of geriatric cats, and the welfare implications of rehoming older cats with medical issues.