Skip to navigation
Skip to main content
Skip to footer

To give you the best and most secure online experience possible, our website uses cookies. Continue to use the website if you're happy with this, or find out how to manage cookies.

Animal shelters

A nation of animal lovers, it’s often upsetting to hear about animal cruelty, especially when the adverts we see on television can be very graphic.

Each year in the UK, hundreds of thousands of animals are taken to animal shelters, many of them being rescued from cruel owners or distressing situations.

However, many animals in shelters will be well-trained and friendly and have only been wrenched from their loving home because their owner has died or gone to live in a nursing home. This can be particularly upsetting if the animal itself is older.

If you’re thinking of adopting a dog or cat, it’s important to be sure that you can deal with an animal from a potentially troubled background. There are hundreds of animal shelters in the UK, many of which offer excellent rehoming programmes for their rescue pets.


Established in 1824, the RSPCA is one of the most famous rehoming charities giving more than 70,000 animals a second chance every year. Every potential new home and owner is thoroughly checked to ensure a perfect match for pet and family. There is a small charge which includes vaccines, microchips and (if necessary) neutering.

Cats Protection

The UK’s leading feline welfare charity, Cats Protection has been running since 1927 and helps over 230,000 cats and kittens each year. Each cat that is ready for adoption will have been vaccinated and treated against worms and fleas. Every home is checked before a cat is allowed to leave with their new owner. If you can’t adopt a cat, you can sponsor a cabin for cats at the centre.

Dogs Trust

The largest dog welfare charity in the country, Dogs Trust was set up in 1891. Their policy is to never put a healthy dog down and you can help by sponsoring a dog for just £1 a week. All dogs that they rehome are microchipped, neutered and vaccinated. Dogs Trust also fosters dogs whose owners are suffering from domestic issues.

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home

Since its establishment in 1860, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home has helped over three million animals. If you want to adopt a cat or dog, your new pet will receive a microchip, vaccinations, flea and worm treatment, a collar, ID tag and lead. If you want to get involved they are always on the hunt for volunteers to help with gardening, dog fostering and administration.

Blue Cross

Dedicated to the welfare of pets since 1897, Blue Cross helps to find homes for dogs and cats, as well as horses, rodents and rabbits. All animals are checked, neutered and microchipped and each one is carefully matched with its perfect new owner. The Blue Cross Tea Party takes place in May to raise money for the animals in care.

John Lewis Pet Insurance

If you’re considering adopting an animal then good for you. Giving a second chance to a dog or cat is a wonderful experience for both owner and animal as you each get a new lease of life and someone to love.

To make the most of your new pet’s new life, buying pet insurance means that your cat or dog will have the opportunity to receive proper care when they move to a new home.

John Lewis Pet Insurance provides long-term pet care for animals from the age of eight weeks and you can claim up to £12,000 a year for medical bills, provided that your policy is renewed and your premiums are paid. To make caring for your pet easier, you can also choose to have vet bills paid directly, if your vet is set up to receive our payments so you can focus on getting your pet better.

For further tips and advice, please see our quick guide (PDF).

John Lewis Pet Insurance homepage

Looking for more information
about Pet Insurance?
Find out more here

Get a Pet Insurance quote

Terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions and eligibility criteria apply. 

John Lewis Insurance is a trading name of John Lewis plc. Registered office: 171 Victoria Street, London SW1E 5NN. Registered in England (No. 233462). John Lewis plc is an appointed representative of Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc. John Lewis Pet Insurance is underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc (No. 93792). Registered in England and Wales at St. Mark's Court, Chart Way, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1XL. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register No. 202323). Calls may be recorded and monitored.

Related articles

Thinking of getting a cat or dog? Don’t just rush to a breeder and snap up a pedigree – you could also look into giving a rescue pet the loving home that it needs.

Here are some tips to make sure you make the right choice.

Cats and dogs require a lot more work than you might imagine when you first see their adorable little faces.

We’ve put together a top ten of TLC tips for your pet.

Despite their fur coats, dogs and cats feel the cold just the same as we do.

So here are some tips on how to make sure your pet’s healthy and happy as the cold weather sets in.