The Warrington Animal Centre (originally known as the Harold Hallwood Home for Animals) opened in October 1984 thanks primarily to a £20,000 legacy from Tom Forster in honour of his long-time cat companion Tibby. Although the legacy was given in 1979 and planning permission gained in 1981, this was a slow three year process before the opening.
We had 2 dog kennels and no cat pens. We used the office, the toilet and the shower room to house the first animals to come through our doors, during what was to be a bitterly cold winter.
It took several years for the Centre to be established as it was built largely through volunteer labour, led and organised by Harold Hallwood himself (who sadly passed away in November 2009); then vice-chairman of the branch.
Since its opening, the Centre has re-homed thousands of animals. The Centre featured regularly on Channel 4’s, “Pet Rescue” program in the late 1990s.
More recently, the branch has undergone major refurbishments to maintain and improve the facilities in line with the requirements of legislation and the minimum standards set by the RSPCA.
- In 2003, we built a new 12-kennel dog block specifically for case animals (brought in by the inpectors) needing extra care and attention and for nursing bitches with puppies.
- In June 2008, a new cattery, dog isolation unit, miscellaneous unit and vet facility was completed. Costing a total of £720,000, the project was the culmination of 5 years of fundraising, donations and legacies and provides a state of the art facility. We would especially like to thank the Altrincham RSPCA branch for their generous donation of £150,000. Sam Aston (Chesney Battersby-Brown of Coronation Street) did the honours at the opening.
- We followed this in February 2009 by fencing off some of our land to provide a much needed dog exercise area where the dogs can be taken and let off the lead to have a good run around and a play.