In 1860, the Temporary Home for Lost and Starving Dogs opened its doors in Holloway, taking in stray dogs from London’s streets. 155 years, a new site and 3.1 million dogs and cats later, it’s now known as Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, and it celebrates its Victorian heritage next month.
The public are invited into the home to experience the sights, sounds, tastes and smells of life at it was for early residents (cats were taken in from 1883). You can tour the kennels and cattery, and learn about what it was like to be a stray dog on London’s streets in the 1860s.
Refreshments will be available to buy; choose from hearty pie and mash, traditional sweets, or the proceeds of the Victoria sponge contest.
Away from the animals, there are plenty of other Victorian activities on offer, from accordion music to games from yesteryear.
The day is a tribute to the Home’s founder, Mary Tealby. Not a lot is known about her, but the new dog kennels, opened in March, are named after her.
Battersea Victorian Day takes place on Saturday 3 October at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, 10.30am-3pm. Entry is ￡2 for adults/￡1 for children — no need to book.