Battersea Dogs’ Home celebrates 150th anniversary – South London News
You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, they say – maybe because an old dog already knows all the tricks.
But an old dog house? Battersea Dogs’ Home, which celebrates its 150th anniversary tomorrow (June 3), has adapted to the needs of its charges throughout its history – including admitting the jealous rivals of man’s best friends, cats, in 1883.
Founded in 1860 by Mary Tealby, it was originally called Temporary Home for Lost and Starving Dogs, it was moved south of the river to Battersea in 1871.
The reason for the move to south London is believed to have been due to complaints from neighbors on a crowded north London street – you could say she was stalked.
Battersea was on the outskirts of London at the time, and the house housed around 850 dogs per month. On June 3, 1871, the very first meeting of the committee took place at the new site.
In an article in The Graphic, published in December 1871, the Battersea premises had “sixteen spacious enclosures or stalls, eight on either side of a central avenue. […]. There is a large driving range, a kitchen where dog food is prepared and an infirmary.
“During our visit, the 200 detainees appeared to be in excellent health, only four of them being in the infirmary.
“The oldest inhabitant of the house had been there for two months.
There is no mention of a place where bones could be buried or streetlights put to their proper use.
Sneakers weren’t invented until 90 years ago, so a chewy diet wasn’t necessary.
A contemporary trick to keep your old dog from smelling has stood the test of time: Cover his nose.
Fast forward 150 years – without legs – the now famous animal rescue center has recently undergone major changes and now has some of the best facilities in the world to care for the thousands of dogs and cats that come every year.
The Battersea Center in London has a state-of-the-art veterinary hospital, modern cattery and kennels, as well as offices for support staff. A new hydrotherapy room has just opened for reservations for members of the public and their dogs.
The placement kennels, behind a new reception area, are being improved as the association will be ready to welcome regular visitors again.
For more information and details on how to book a hydrotherapy session with one of Battersea’s expert veterinary hydrotherapists and physiotherapists, please click on here.