Constructed in Portland stone and cast bronze, 58ft (17.68m) wide and 55ft (16.76m) deep, the memorial has a strong visual impact, both from distant and close views. The sculptor has designed the monument in order to involve visitors and to attract people to enter it and become personally informed about the subject.
There are three principal elements in the design; two different levels and a dominating and powerful wall between them.
On the lower level, two heavily laden bronze mules struggle through an arena, enclosed by the dominant wall symbolising the war experience. The mules approach a flight of steps that leads through the wall. Beyond the wall, on the upper level, a bronze horse and dog stand facing north into the gardens, bearing witness to the loss of their comrades and representing hope for the future.
Images of the many different animals used in 20th century conflicts are depicted in bas-relief on the inside of the longer section of wall. On the outside of this wall a line of ghostly silhouettes is carved, representing the animals lost in the conflicts.
There are inscriptions on both sides of the shorter section of wall, including the name of the monument and information about theatres of war and the numbers of animals lost.
The names of major donors are carved on the outside of the longer section of wall.