The Dogs Trust

A Royal Legacy

For centuries the British Royal Family has been renowned for its adoration of dogs. Portraits of the British Monarchy are highly likely to include one of their beloved dogs posing proudly with their royal owners from Prince Albert's Greyhounds to the current Queen's Corgis.

Dogs Trust
The Queen opens Dogs Trust West Calder

As one of the countries most famous dog lovers it was a considerable honour when Queen Elizabeth II agreed to become a patron of Dogs Trust, the UK's largest dog welfare charity, in 1990. Dogs Trust, founded in 1891, (formerly the National Canine Defence League) cares for around 16,000 dogs every year at its nationwide network of 18 rehoming centres across the UK and one in Dublin. Over 120 years later, Dogs Trust is now one of the country's leading animal welfare charities and continues to pursue its goals with determination. The charity invests in campaigns to reduce the number of stray, unwanted and abandoned dogs by promoting neutering, microchipping, and investing in education programmes to reach the dog owners of tomorrow.

In 1994 Queen Elizabeth II in her official capacity as Patron opened Dogs Trust West Calder, the first Dogs Trust rehoming centre to open in Scotland. During her visit, Queen Elizabeth II was given a guided tour of the centre by Dogs Trust Chief Executive, Clarissa Baldwin. She enjoyed meeting with staff and engaging with a number of the centre's four-legged homeless residents. Dogs Trust West Calder soon began taking on homeless dogs and has rehomed over 700 dogs a year since it opened. Following the success of the centre a second rehoming centre was opened in Glasgow in 2006. In 2009 the Princess Royal, on behalf of the Queen, officially opened Dogs Trust Snetterton.

In June 2012 Dogs Trust will open its 18th UK rehoming centre, in Loughborough, to coincide with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Dogs Trust will commemorate the occasion by planting a special Jubilee garden at the centre of over 250 plants which have been carefully selected because of their name association with the Royal Family. The Garden will contain special commemorative plaques listing the names of all the Corgis the Queen has owned in her lifetime We hope that this garden will delight dog lovers visiting the centre for many years to come and will be a particularly special reminder of the monarch's love for dogs.

In 2003 the Queen awarded Dogs Trust CEO, Clarissa Baldwin an OBE for her work to improve animal welfare. Clarissa has been CEO since 1986, having joined the charity in 1974 as Head of Public Relations. Her long-term goal is to ensure that all dogs, regardless of breeding, have access to loving homes and are treated fairly and humanely. Clarissa created the slogan "A dog is for life, not just for Christmas" 34 years ago this year.

Dogs Trust
Clarissa Baldwin - A giant of animal welfare

Clarissa explains: "We are extremely privileged to have enjoyed the patronage of the Queen for over two decades. It was a real highlight in the history of Dogs Trust when she officially opened our West Calder Rehoming Centre. Her love of dogs is undeniable and it was wonderful to be able to witness this first hand when she was introduced to the homeless hounds in our care. We hope that in the coming years we will get the opportunity to introduce her to much more of the work that we do and to show her some of the state-of-the-art rehoming facilities that we have opened in recent years."

Click here. Read moreDogs Trust