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New research by Battersea has revealed women find rescue dog owners twice as attractive as good dancers - and far sexier than potential partners who own a designer breed dog or cat.

The much-loved animal charity’s statistics show 31% of women agree being a rescue dog owner makes someone more attractive, while owning a rescue cat was seen as more desirable by 23% of females.

In comparison, just 15% of women thought being a good dancer made someone sexier, while only 21% considered speaking another language makes someone stand out from the pack – and owning a rescue dog is considered more attractive than enjoying travel (30%).

Meanwhile, both men and women thought owning a rescue pet was a more desirable option than owning a fashionable, trendy or ‘designer’ dog or cat, such as a Scottish fold cat or a Cockapoo, which just 5% of the population said would make a potential partner more attractive.

Battersea's Head of Operations, Rob Young, said: "Our research confirms what we at Battersea have known for a while - rescue really is Britain's favourite breed, which is good news for the hundreds of animals at Battersea hoping to find their match this Valentine's Day.

"There might be millions of people breathing a sigh of relief that women think owning a rescue dog is twice as attractive as being able to dance, too – so you can throw away your dancing shoes, bin your Spanish-language tapes and stop stressing about showing how well-travelled you are. It turns out heading out for a walk with your rescue dog or sharing photos and stories about your rescue cat might be the best way to get a date.”

The research also shows over half (54%) of UK pet owners proclaim that their pet is the love of their life and they’re not shy about ensuring their pets come before potential partners. Over two-thirds (68%) of dog owners and 57% of cat owners wouldn’t date someone who didn’t like their pet. Furthermore, nearly a half (46%) of pet owners agree that if a potential partner had a pet that didn’t get along with their pet it would be a deal breaker.

Rob added: “We know one in four GB dogs and cats are rescues, so your chances for love may be better than you think. If you want to find your match this Valentine’s Day, stop swiping right and instead visit the Battersea website where we celebrate rescue pets year-round. Your real soulmate could be waiting in our kennels or cattery.”

Visit battersea.org.uk to find out more, or join the growing community of rescue lovers by using #RescueIsMyFavouriteBreed