The Warrington Animal Centre (originally known as the Harold Hallwood Home for Animals) began thanks largely to a £20,000 legacy from Tom Forster in honour of his long-time cat companion, Tibby. We got planning permission in 1981, and three years later our doors opened to our first animals.
We had two dog kennels, and no cat pens. During a bitterly cold winter, we used the office, the toilet and the shower room to house the first animals to come through our doors. It took several years for the Centre to be established as it was built mostly through volunteer labour, led and organised by Harold Hallwood himself (who sadly passed away in November 2009); then vice-chairman of the branch.
Since then, there’s been a lot of changes at the branch and we have re-homed thousands of animals.
We built a new kennel dog block in 2003 for case animals who are brought in by National RSPCA Inspectors, needing extra care and attention. This also gave us a space to look after nursing mothers and their puppies. In 2008, a new cattery, dog isolation unit for containing illnesses, and small vet space, were completed.