Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Pioneers at Bath Cats and Dogs Home

In England and Wales, the term "non-destruction" is normally the preferred term for what would be referred to as "no-kill" in the US and Australia. I hope BCDH won't object to me reproducing the following timeline from their website:
• Three local animal charities unite to become RSPCA Bath Branch.
• Bath resident Mrs Bayntun gifts five acres of land and £4,000 (equivalent to nearly £200,000 now) enabling the new charity to set up a dog shelter.
• John and Mary Hobhouse join the Bath Branch committee.
• John Hobhouse becomes chairman of the Bath Branch (until 2000).
• After considerable arguments, the City Council concede that stray dogs can go to the kennels for re-homing rather than being destroyed.
• The Bath Branch is the first RSPCA branch to implement a strict non-destruction policy.
• John Hobhouse is elected to the RSPCA National Council.
• John’s five-year battle to form and chair a ‘Homeless Animals Committee’ is finally realised.
• The Homeless Animals Committee persuade the RSPCA Council to spend £100,000 to build or rebuild an animal centre in each major city. Within a year these new kennels were saving the lives of 10,000 dogs that would otherwise have been destroyed.
1969 – 1975
• John Hobhouse elected as chairman of the RSPCA National Council. 
• The Friends of Claverton is formed. A separate registered charity, the Friends raise funds through membership and legacies.
• After three generous legacy donations totaling £500,000 the Home plan a redevelopment of the dilapidated 50 year old buildings with modern facilities. 
John is elected Bath and District President
• The first two stages of redevelopment are completed, including four kennel blocks and runs, a cattery, vet suite, administration offices, visitor facilities and a new sewerage system. The cost of £2.2 million had been raised solely by donation and fundraising.
• The third stage of development is completed, with two circular kennels. The cost was paid for by the fundraising efforts of the Friends of Claverton. 
• John Hobhouse dies peacefully in Frome Hospital, Somerset, on Thursday 24 December, aged 99.
There's some more information about how BCDH works with the local authority dog wardens in this article. 

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