Pet lovers have opened their doors and hearts to send rehoming figures soarIng amid the coronavirus crisis, write Shan Ally.

Staff at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in south London found more than 150 dogs and cats a loving new home last week, with figures more than double the same week last year.

Battersea's Head of Operations, Rob Young, said: "As many people are preparing to spend a significant amount of time at home over the coming weeks, it is only expected that some may be thinking about the companionship a pet could offer.

"People are now having some more time to settle pets into their home, and are looking to do some good by rescuing animals who are waiting for their own home.

"Potential owners are still able to view animals who are ready to rehome on our website. Potential owners can still register to rehome through our online applications and as soon as we're able to, we'll be reopening and working to continue finding new homes for our wonderful animals."

One of the lucky ones included Tulip, a four-year-old mongrel, who had been at Battersea for 110 days.

Tulip arrived at Battersea as a stray and had some anxieties but the team worked on her and she has found her happy ending and a suitable forever home.

Last week, an incredible 86 dogs and 69 cats left Battersea for their forever home, compared to the previous week, where 39 dogs were rehomed and 52 cats.

There was also a staggering increase compared to the same week last year when 42 dogs and 29 cats found new homes.

Rob said:"We want to thank all these new owners for thinking of rescue pets at such a challenging time.

"All three of our Battersea centres are now closed to the public, but many of our animals are now in loving homes or out on temporary foster with our staff and volunteers. Battersea are still caring for around 100 animals at our three centres and working hard to ensure each and every dog and cat continues to get the treatment, care, love, play and interaction they need."

He added: "Those wishing to rehome a dog or cat are welcome to fill out a rehoming application on our website and, as soon as we're able, we'll be reopening and working to continue finding new homes for our wonderful animals.