Stray dog Billy is helping out staff at Battersea during the COVID-19 lockdown

As the coronavirus pandemic forces us into lockdown, one dog is lending a helping paw.

Two-year-old Billy the Bully Kutta has volunteered at Battersea Dogs Home during the lockdown, helping out staff by manning the security gates, answering calls on reception, and checking in on food supplies.

The giant rescue dog – who weights 52kg, arrived at the shelter as a stray. It was clear he had been through a lot in his short life, arriving with cropped ears – a procedure that is illegal in the UK.

When he first arrived, Billy was nervous around people and new situations but thanks to staff he is growing in confidence. And he’s showing he’s a valuable member of the team by manning the front desk, guarding vehicles, and patrolling corridors – all at a safe social distance.

With the UK on lockdown, Battersea has closed its gates to the public for the first time in its 160-year history. While the animal charity has a core team at all three of its sites to care for its furry residents, many staff members are having to work from home.

Nathalie Ingham, Canine Behaviour and Training Manager at Battersea, said: ‘With many of our staff unable to come in due to the current lockdown guidelines, Billy has really stepped up to the mark to help us keep Battersea running as smoothly as possible during these uncertain times. ‘Although he may look a little intimidating due to his giant size and cropped ears, he’s really showing himself to be a very friendly, personable dog adapting to a variety of situations. ‘Battersea has currently paused rehoming applications due to the current lockdown, so Billy will be helping us out here for a little bit longer before he can find a home.’

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