Battersea remembers Charles Dickens
09/02/2012 Author credited with raising awareness for home
Battersea Dogs and Cats Home has a lot to thank Charles Dickens for in the year that celebrates his bi-centenary. Battersea had been established for 18 months when the famous dog lover went to visit and by then the home had already taken in approximately 1,000 starving dogs. Dickens was very impressed with the medical care and overall attention given to the dogs by a small band of dedicated staff and he did much to increase the general public’s understanding of the homes importance in animal welfare.
Battersea has taken in and help re home or reunite more than 3.1million animals since 1860. When the home first started up it needed a famous supported to help increase its recognition for the valuable work it set out to do. The author wrote a small article in 1862 for a well read magazine concerning the comparisons of a rescue centre for abandoned dogs and that of the more pampered life of dogs taking part in dog shows with their proud owners.
In the article he wrote the following: ‘Within a mile of that great dog show at Islington, there existed another dog show of a very different kind, and forming as complete a contrast to the first as can well be imagined. For this second dog show is nothing more nor less than the show of the Lost Dogs of the Metropolis – the poor vagrant homeless curs that one sees looking out for a dinner in the gutter or curled up in a doorway taking refuge from their troubles in sleep’.