101 yr-old charity worker opens Ottery dog centre
A 101-year-old animal lover's dream will come true when a centre for rehoming dogs opens its new facility in Ottery next weekend.
Gertrude Hindley, known to her friends as Topsy, co-founded the Sidmouth Animal Welfare and Animal Rescue Circle (ARC) 41 years ago.
And she will be the guest of honour as the charity unveils its new centre in Chineway Road on Monday, May 27.
It includes a 15-dog state-of-the-art kennel system, grooming room and exercise area, situated on a six-acre site which was formerly the Ottery Brick Works.
A spokesman for ARC said: “These services are in great need in East Devon, with no major dog re-homing centre in the area.
“ARC, in the past, has relied on boarding kennels and foster homes to house its animals. Last year, we were responsible for the rehoming of 141 dogs which really does show the need for a designated centre for this work.”
The charity hopes to raise attention to the plight of the many unwanted dogs in the area, and said it has found, with the hard economic times, more and more people have had to give up their pets.
Its priority is to find new reliable homes for these animals, as quickly as possible, but it relies on donations and legacies to continue its work.
The spokesman said Gertrude, who remains the charity’s trustee and continues to be the driving force behind it, has been working towards the new centre for the last 40 years, and can’t wait for it to open.
The spokesman said: “It has been an ambitious project for a small charity to undertake, but with no large charity in the East Devon area to take on the task of rehoming unwanted dogs we felt we had to do so.”