Head of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home awarded CBE

The head of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home has been named in the Queen’s New Year Honours.

Chief executive Claire Horton has been awarded a CBE in recognition of her services to animal welfare.

Claire joined Battersea as chief executive in March 2010, bringing with her a wealth of operational and strategic leadership experience from the commercial and not-for-profit sectors, and a passion for animal welfare.

In almost 10 years at Battersea, Claire has led the total transformation of the charity, securing year-on year-growth, increasing its income, profile and animal services and leading to it becoming a top 10 charity brand.

Last year the charity launched the Battersea Academy, a new centre for professional development to support rescue and rehoming organisations across the world. Participants from more than 50 countries have so far attended the academy.

Claire has led large national and small regional charities for more than 30 years and spends much of her time promoting collaborations and partnerships between organisations, her commitment is to helping everyone achieve stronger impact and improving their services for their beneficiaries.

Along with her Battersea role, Claire chairs The Association of Dogs and Cats Homes, the umbrella body for rescue and rehoming organisations for the British Isles, and sits as a member of Defra’s Animal Health and Welfare Board for England.

Having worked with volunteers for more than 30 years, Claire is committed to bringing volunteers right into the heart of charity, investing in their development and utilising their skills across every area of work.

Volunteer numbers at Battersea have increased by 200 per cent under her leadership, saving the lives of countless animals in the process. Battersea now has almost 1,000 dedicated active volunteers and foster carers.

Claire is passionate about raising the profile of animal welfare issues around the UK and working with local and central Government, other charities, and rescue centres to help change the way they work to manage their facilities for their animals. She advises ministers, MPs, MEPs and civil servants on all issues relating to companion animal health and welfare.

Commenting on Claire’s CBE, Battersea chairman Amanda Burton said: “We’re delighted that Claire’s outstanding achievements in animal welfare and as chief executive of Battersea have been recognised.

“Claire is committed to working in partnership across multiple sectors and promoting collaboration between organisations and teams. Under her leadership, Battersea has driven campaigns that have successfully changed legislation and have improved the lives of thousands of dogs and cats.”

Claire Horton said: “I’m absolutely thrilled and deeply honoured to have been awarded the CBE. Recognition such as this never comes from the work of just one person, it is borne from the combined efforts of hundreds of people over many years, each one working to deliver better lives for dogs and cats, not just within Battersea but across the British Isles and beyond.

“A charity, a team, a family, is never made up of just one person, it’s a collective. Battersea and its people are increasingly becoming leaders in the world, in the provision of exceptional dog and cat care, and in working collaboratively with politicians and the wider sector to champion the welfare agenda.”

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