Ottery's Animal Rescue Centre holds anniversary fundraising event

The current team at the Ottery Animal Rescue Centre:

The current team at the Ottery Animal Rescue Centre: Claire Davis, Guy Scott, Crystal Scott, Hannah Curtis and Tasha Lenton - Credit: ARC

Ottery’s Animal Rescue Centre celebrates its 50th anniversary on Sunday, May 29, and is holding a fundraising event at its Chineway Road premises on the day. 

There will be a sale of dog accessories and bric-a-brac between 10am and 5pm, and afternoon tea, coffee and cake will be available between 3pm and 5pm. 

The charity is currently working to build up its finances, as it lost out on funding during the Covid pandemic, and is currently dealing with a high demand for rehoming dogs. More and more people are having to give up their pets because of homelessness, illness, or returning to full-time work because of the rising cost of living. ARC has set up a 50th anniversary fundraising page and is also approaching various charitable trusts for help. 

ARC was officially set up in 1972 by Sidmouth resident Topsy Hindley and a friend of hers called Mrs Shrimpton. Topsy was a dog lover who often looked after the pets of friends and neighbours while they were on holiday, taking them into her home. She extended this to stray dogs that had been handed in to the police, taking them in and rehoming them, and this led to the pair setting up the ARC charity, with Mrs Shrimpton as secretary and Topsy as treasurer. 

During the early 1990s the ARC began to publish details of the dogs it was trying to re-home in a new Sidmouth publication called The Advertiser. Its owner Crystal Scott would visit the kennels and take photographs of the dogs, and soon became very much involved with the charity  - so much so that when Mrs Shrimpton became ill in 1992 she asked Crystal to take over its running. 

At that time the charity had very little money and the dogs in the kennels did not see a vet unless they were seriously ill. Crystal worked with Topsy Hindley to arrange fundraising events and make sure every dog had a health check, vaccination and was wormed and treated for fleas. She eventually sold The Advertiser and became full-time manager of ARC in 1997, running it from her home in Ottery St Mary. As the charity became financially better off, Crystal and the board of trustees began looking for a site to build their own kennels, and ended up buying and converting The Old Brick Works in Chineway Road, which opened in May 2013. 

The ARC centre in Ottery St Mary

The ARC centre in Ottery St Mary - Credit: ARC

As ARC’s staff celebrates its 50th anniversary, staff are hoping the support of local people will enable the charity to continue its work for another half century, and beyond. 

The ARC kennels

The ARC kennels - Credit: ARC