Cheltenham Animal Shelter – Coronavirus Update

As of close of business on 24 March, to comply with government advice, we have closed Cheltenham Animal Shelter to the public until further notice.

Our priority, as always, is to ensure we are able to deliver the very best care to our animals and to protect our staff and volunteers. While our Animal Care Team will be coming in to take care of our animals, the reception and CASvets are closed to visitors. Please see the separate CASVet update below for more information.

You can telephone Reception Monday to Friday between 10am – 12pm and 2pm – 3pm. Email queries sent to will be answered as soon as possible.

We regret that we are unable to take animal rehoming applications by phone at the moment but if you would like to express an interest in offering a loving forever home to one of our pets, please email one of the following addresses and we will respond when things are back to normal:

We have stopped all new animal intakes (except for emergencies) for the time being. If you have an emergency please contact Reception.

If you need advice about doggy behaviour then our Behaviourist Rosie is offering a 30 minute telephone consultation with a written report in the post for £20. If you would like to book please email

Unfortunately, we cannot accept any charity shop donations at this time but we would still be grateful for animal food, clean blankets, towels, duvets (non-feather) and sheets for the Shelter animals. Please leave your donations in the green and white shed next to the Reception entrance, being mindful to respect social distancing. 
We are not able to accept pillows, cushions or sleeping bags.

Our Short Bark & Sides grooming parlour and dog/cat boarding facilities (overnight stays) are now closed and we are in the process of contacting all our customers with bookings to discuss this with them. We will take new boarding bookings from 1 June 2020, in anticipation of an improved situation by this time, but will review this in line with government guidelines.

Day Creche facilities remain open for key workers.

Thank you for your understanding and please accept our apologies for any inconvenience.

Other Coronavirus Links:

Doggy boredom busters during self-isolation

Playing simple ball games in the garden can keep your dog happy

A period of isolation can feel stressful and your dog can provide a source of comfort and company.

A family member, friend or professional dog-walker may be able to help with daily walks if you are unwell, but you might also find the following advice helpful for keeping canine friends occupied if you have to adapt your daily routine.

Scent games are a great way of keeping your dog occupied and mentally stimulated. We have listed a few fun scent activities to try with your dog.

Find It – Take a medium to large sized treat, show it to your dog and throw it a short distance away. Praise your dog for finding the treat. Once your dog has got the hang of the game you can add the words ‘find it’ as you are about to throw the treat!

Tracking – Set up 5 large treats in a line (your track) and allow your dog to sniff out and eat the treats as they go along the track. Once your dog gets the hang of this, you can increase the difficulty by placing the treats in grass, using smaller treats or spacing the treats out more.

Treasure Hunt – A bit like the dog friendly version of an Easter egg hunt, you can hide your dogs favourite toys, snacks and enrichment items for them to sniff out. Utilizing bushes, trees and garden objects you can make the hunt as challenging as you like. This is a great gentle but fun activity to tire out golden oldies and entertain cooped up pooches.

Brain Games – Make mealtimes fun for your dog by utilizing enrichment toys such as Kong’s, Lick – E- Mats, activity balls and snuffle mats. You can freeze the Kong’s to make them more of a challenge for your dog, or hide the items in a cardboard box for your dog to rip apart and scavenge the goods within!

Here are some more enrichment activities and wellbeing suggestions from our animal behaviourist:

  • Frozen enrichment toys are great, long-lasting treats that can act as a boredom buster – Kongs or Lick E Mats topped up with tasty food and put in the freezer are ideal for this.
  • Snuffle mats provide a fantastic scatter feeding tool and can provide much needed mental stimulation, they are easy to make and can also be purchased online. Scattering some of your the dog’s daily food allowance into the garden can be another useful scenting activity and keep them occupied.
  • Mini training sessions using positive reinforcement are a brilliant way to keep your dog’s brain active and spread out throughout the day can help tackle afternoon restlessness!
  • Games can be played in the garden as opposed to on a walk to keep dogs tired and fulfilled. High adrenaline ball games may be best to avoid as they can cause a surge of energy that cannot be fully released which can cause unwanted behaviours to be displayed.
  • Using a stress relief aid such as Pet Remedy or Adaptil products can help relieve some anxiety associated with a sudden change of routine.

Top tip – it is important to continue leaving your dog for short periods of time if this is their usual routine to prevent separation anxiety occurring when you head back to work. This could be as simple as going upstairs for half an hour or popping out into the garden.

If you are concerned about your dog’s behaviour and would like some advice then Rosie our Behaviourist is offering a 30 minute telephone consultation with a written report in the post for £20. If you would like to book please email

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FREE Cat Neutering


It is usually around the beginning of May that Cheltenham Animal Shelter sees a rise in the number of stay cats coming into its care who are either pregnant and soon to be expectant mothers or have recently had kittens and can no longer support the hungry mouths that need feeding.

In order to alleviate the number of abadoned and unplanned litters arriving at the shelter, Cheltenham Animal Shelter’s Veterinary Practice (CASVet) are offering to neuter male cats, over 12 months of age, for FREE on Tuesday 17th May.

Toby Travis, head Veterinary Surgeon is inviting owners and residents of Cheltenham to take up the offer of FREE neutering and thanks to support from the Cats Protection League, is also able to microchip each cat free of charge too!

No appointment is necessary however please read through the “Additional Information” below to ensure your pet qualifies for the offer. For more information please call 01242 530056

Additional Information

  1. Owners must reside in Cheltenham or Tewkesbury to be eligible for this offer.
  2. The average cost of neutering a male cat is roughly between £30 – £50
  3. Neutering reduces the number of abandoned and unexpected litters each year.
  4. Un-neutered males can stray as far as 3 miles in search of a female in heat.

Your Pet's Visit

Before the procedure


  • Arrive between 8:30am and 10:00am
  • Bring you cat to us in a labelled basket


  • Feed you pet after 8pm the night before (water is fine)
  • Let you cat go out overnight
  • Let you cat get wet or dirty

During the Day

Please be available on your phone as we aim to update you about you pet around 2pm. If you have not heard from us by 3pm please contact us on 01242 530056. Collection is uaually between 3pm – 5:30pm

After the Procedure

After an operation your pet will need a light, simple meal such as boiled chicken or white fish with rice. We sell suitable tinned alternatives for dogs at £2 or sachets for cats at 75p each.

Easter Animal Days

Phew… what a busy Easter break it has been here at the Shelter! We have certainly been in need of all the young helpers who have attended the Animal Days this school break so far – just look at some of the fun they have been up to, taking care of the rabbits and exercising the dogs. Well done guys!

Why not look to book for the next school holidays…contact the Education Office today!



Compulsory Microchipping of Dogs

The microchipping of dogs will soon be made compulsory to raise owner responsibility and improve the welfare of dogs. From the 6th of April 2016, all dogs must be microchipped and registered to an approved database by the time they are 8 weeks old.

Why is compulsory Microchipping coming in?

Compulsory chipping of all dogs will make it easier to identify the owner and more stray dogs will be able to be reunited. The law will allow a greater traceability of owners making them accountable for their dog’s actions. Microchiping will also help establish liability and prove ownership/keepership of the animal and will in time reduce the number of dog thefts each year.

What does this mean for me?

For every dog that is currently not microchipped, you will have until the 6th April 2016 to get them microchipped and registered on an approved database.

If a keeper of a dog which is not microchipped gets served with a notice requiring them to have the dog chipped, they will have 21 days to do this, however they may face criminal prosecution and a £500 fine if they do not comply with the notice.

If this notice is ignored then a fine of up to £500 can be issued, alternatively an enforcer, such as a dog warden, may seize your dog, microchip it and register the details and then recover the cost from you.

More information can be found on the Petlog Compulsory Microchipping website

When can I get my dog microchipped?

Cheltenham Animal Shelter is offering to assist dog owners in Gloucestershire, in preparation to the change in legislation on the 6th April, by offering to microchip dogs on Saturday mornings from 10am – 11:30am for only £5.00 per pet (except Sat 20th Feb & Sat 26th Mar).

No appointment is needed, just turn up on any one of the days listed below and we will carry out the quick and simple procedure, as well as taking care of registering the microchip on the national database.

Sat 6th Feb 10am-11:30am Only £5.00
Sat 13th Feb 10am-11:30am Only £5.00
Sat 27th Feb 10am-11:30am Only £5.00
Sat 5th Mar 10am-11:30am Only £5.00
Wed 9th Mar 12noon-7:00pm FREE chipping*
Sat 12th Mar 10am-11:30am Only £5.00
Sat 19th Mar 10am-11:30am Only £5.00
Sat 2nd Apr 10am-11:30am Only £5.00
* FREE microchipping for dogs only, provided by the local councils in Gloucestershire

Microchipping on Wednesday 9th March is provided by Cheltenham Borough Council, Gloucester City Council, Stroud District Council and Forest of Dean District Council FREE of charge, from 12noon until 7:00pm. All other dates will be provided by Cheltenham Animal Shelter at only £5.00 per pet.

Frequently Asked Questions

A Microchip is a small chip about the size of a grain of rice, it stores a unique 15 digit number which will be registered against your pets name and your contact details.

The microchip can be scanned by vets, dog wardens and rescue centres to obtain the unique number, this can then be checked against the national database to trace the owner.


The microchip will be inserted underneath the skin between the animals shoulder blades, using a sterile needle and applicator.

We recommend that you do not feel or touch the implant area for around 12 hours after microchipping. This will allow the skin to settle and the microchip to stay where it should.

No, the procedure is very similar to an annual vaccination booster carried out each year, no anesthetic is required and your pet shouldn’t feel any discomfort.

The cost of microchipping animals varies across veterinary practice and welfare centres, however Cheltenham Animal Shelter is offering to microchip pets for a small fee of £5.00 (simply to cover the cost of the microchip and registration fee).

Staff will register the microchips unique number against the details you provide on the day of implantation. You will need to ensure these are kept up-to-date if you move house or change your telephone number.

All our microchips come with basic lifetime registration to Petlog. Should you change your details, there will be a small charge to amend this.

The Microchip packaging will have an expiry date stamped on it but this is purely for implantation purposes only – the microchip itself will not stop functioning throughout your pets life.

When a lost pet is found or is taken to a local veterinary practice or Animal Shelter, staff will scan the pet to find its unique microchip number. They will then contact the national microchip database and obtain the owners contact details and information about the animal.

It is important to ensure your contact details are kept up-to-date otherwise you may not be notified that your missing pet has been found.

Petlog is the UK’s largest lost and found database for microchipped pets and its customer care team are based in the UK and are always available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


Kingsway School

Education Officer, Jen Protheroe visited Kingsway Primary School on the 15th December to talk to students about responsible pet ownership as well and giving them an insight about Cheltenham Animal Shelter and the work we do.

She was also accompanied by three bunnies; Jack, Cuddles and Nora who enjoyed fuss and cuddles from the students!

Thank you to the students at Kingsway Primary School who thoroughly enjoyed the visit, they also held a fundraiser and raised £25.00 and kindly sent our Education Team some wonderful thank you letters!

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