Since we were founded on 7th April 1938, we’ve been through many exciting changes
The RSPCA Chesterfield & North Derbyshire Branch was originally established independently to the National RSPCA to improve the welfare of pets and working animals in North Derbyshire.
In the early years we were supported by a locally-funded inspector who implemented animal welfare laws. But during the Second World War, times were not easy and we struggled to survive.
However, through the dedication of our committed volunteers working alongside the inspector, we continued to improve the lives of animals and we were able to set up a free vet advice scheme for people who could not afford treatment.
In 1950, kennels were built on our site on Spital Lane to take animals rescued by the RSPCA inspector while also being used as boarding for owners who were unable to care for their pets due to illness.
A centre was eventually opened in 1960 with the first of its annual reports being publish in 1961. The animal centre was originally a boarding establishment called ‘Mayfield Kennels’.
Back then there were 200 members with a target of £100 to achieve by the end of the first year of opening. The animal centre had a very basic kennel set-up with limited spaces and equipment.
A big turning point in our history was a very important legacy left by Derbyshire animal lover Charlotte Mary Ward who passed away in the 1970’s. She dearly loved all animals and her legacy gave the animal centre £300,000 which at the time expanded the animal centre to care for more than 100 animals. Charlotte’s legacy still continues to help a lot of animals to this present day.
Throughout the last eight decades, we have helped to rescue and re-home approximately 45,000 dogs, cats, rabbits and other small animals and re-unite 24,000 pets with their owners found by RSPCA inspectors or members of the public.
Through the years there have been many changes, but it has always been our main aim to re-home neglected and unwanted animals of Chesterfield & North Derbyshire into loving and permanent homes.