News articles are courtesy of the Burton Mail

28th July 1876
The Launch of RSPCA Burton upon Trent & District Branch

The Burton upon Trent & District Branch started its life on July 28th 1876, in a room at 190 Horninglow Street, the home and surgery of Dr Henry Edward Bridgman. Within a week of this first meeting, the Parent Association gave recognition to the newly formed committee, so the Branch was born. 

13th May 1938
Clinic for Animals Opened

On May 13th, 1938, the clinic for Animals was opened at 12 Rosemount Road, the home of inspector L. Moon. The clinic was open for one hour every Friday evening until the start of the second world war sixteen months later.

Green Lane

In 1971, Major Langham opened the RSPCA kennels in Green Lane, Tutbury after a short spell operating from kennels in Hoar Cross. Green Lane was operational until our current purpose built kennels and cattery were opened on November 7th, 1989 at Hillfield Lane.

7th November 1989
Hillfield Animal Home Opened

The 1980’s was a busy time for RSPCA fundraisers and volunteers as they worked hard to raise the money to begin building at the Hillfield Lane site.  Although the land was purchased in 1979 it was ten years before the first animals took up residence in November 1989.

14th July 1990
Official opening

The RSPCA Animal Home was officially opened on July 14th, 1990, by Mr Joe Young, former Burton & District Inspector from 15/4/77 to 30/4/90.  This original building now houses the staff room.

November 2001
Small Animal Unit Opening

For several years the rabbits were housed in individual hutches, open to the elements. Imagine cleaning a dozen hutches in the pouring rain, wind and snow!!! The staff and small animals were relieved when, in November 2001, the SAU was opened by the Mayor of East Staffordshire Mr Peter Davies.

Foot and Mouth

In 2001 Foot and Mouth swept the country devastating farming and tourism. Over 6 million cows and sheep were destroyed in an effort to contain the disease. Due to having goats on the premises we had to close the Animal Home and keep the goats indoors until it was safe. No volunteers or public were allowed on site and staff kept overnight bags in their cars in case of worsening conditions.  Who would have thought that in 2020 another virus would close our doors again?

August 2002
Goat shelter

After an appeal to the public in 2001 the new goat shelter was finally built in August 2002 thanks to the generosity of local people.  We were grateful to Paul Asker, Paul Hirst and Inspector Jason Fletcher who gave up their precious time to build this goat-proof shelter. I’m sure that the goats appreciated their efforts!

22nd March 2008
Reception and Meeting room

Our new reception, office space, disabled toilet and meeting room were officially opened by Burton Albion’s Manager Nigel Clough and captain and striker Darren Stride on 22nd March 2008.

29th September 2007
Fundraising Balls

The Centre held its first fundraising Ball on 29th September 2007 at the Pirelli Stadium. It was a chance for staff and volunteers to put on their glad rags and they didn’t disappoint. The21st birthday ball in October 2010 raised a fantastic £9179 for the Centre.

The Aviary

The Aviary was kindly donated by June and Alan Fearn and Sharon and Robert Shorthose whose daughter Mel worked at the Animal Home for many years. Now no longer used as an aviary it is still a useful storage area.

Cat Cuddling and Socialisation summerhouse

This summerhouse, generously donated by Mrs Muriel Pitchfork, is the ideal place for cats to chill out and relax. Its layout gets cats used to being in a home environment making the transition between pod and home less stressful. Who wouldn’t want to lie around on a cosy cushion?

Victorian Markets

In 2007 and 2008 Victorian Markets proved worthy fund raisers for the Animal Home and gave our volunteers a good excuse for getting dressed up!!

Hillfield 30th Birthday

In 2019, we celebrated 30 years at Hillfield Animal Home. But this was not the beginning of the RSPCA Burton upon Trent & District Branch, in actual fact, it began right back in 1876!

Most Recently we held a 30th Birthday event with a dog show to celebrate and raised lots of much needed funds. Our 30th birthday also signifies the fact that our kennels and cattery are now 30 years old and seriously in need of renovation. 

31st January 2020
RIP Boris

Boris, our Vietnamese Pot-bellied pig, came to us as a little piglet via Inspector Dawn Burnett on the 25th of June 2003. He had been found in a field of sheep in Audley, Stoke on Trent. He passed away on 31st of January 2020.  He was a firm favourite with staff and visitors alike and is sorely missed. Boris’s party trick of peeling a banana before eating it had to be seen to be believed!

23rd March 2020
Coronavirus LOCKDOWN

On the 23rd March 2020 Boris Johnson, British Prime Minister, announced that all non essential shops and services must close.

We had to close our gates and shops to our loyal volunteers, adopters and supporters.

This impacted greatly on our finances as we could no longer rely on our shop income and fundraising events. 

We are extremely grateful to our animal home staff who, classed as key workers, worked tirelessly to keep our animals safe.

24th October 2021
Our first Fundraising Event since the start of the covid-19 pandemic.

It was with great excitement that we opened our gates in October for our first Post Lockdown Fundraising Event heralding the return of our popular Dog Show, Cakes, Raffles and Shop Stalls.

We also welcomed our first online pet competition including; Cats, Rabbits, Guinea Pigs and Tortoises.


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