Battersea Dogs Home founder honoured near spot of original shelter

Battersea�s longest serving volunteer Laurence Ackland-Smith, Battersea Chairman Heather Love, the K

Battersea�s longest serving volunteer Laurence Ackland-Smith, Battersea Chairman Heather Love, the Kennedy family, Battersea Chief Executive Claire Horton and a Freightliners volunteer - Credit: Archant

Battersea Dogs Home founder Mary Tealby has been honoured with an Islington People’s Plaque near the spot where she set up the original animal shelter.

The animal rights campaigner, who lived in Victoria Road (now Chillingworth Road), Holloway, came top of a public poll to decide which former Islington resident most deserved a plaque in their honour.

On Friday last week the plaque was unveiled at Freightliners Farm in Sheringham Road, close to the original site of the Home for Lost and Starving Dogs in Hollingsworth Street. Following Mrs Tealby’s death, the shelter was moved in 1871 to Battersea and renamed.

Islington’s former mayor Barry Edwards, who nominated her for the plaque, said: “My personal interest is local history – and when I was reading up about this area and found out Mary set up the original site here, I was really excited. It made me think she really was worthy of being nominated for one of the council’s plaques.”

Mrs Tealby set up the shelter in 1860 after being moved by the plight of stray and starving dogs in the borough. The home was intended to be a temporary refuge where lost dogs could be exercised and either retrieved by their owners or found new homes.

Claire Horton, the chief executive of Battersea Dogs Home, which celebrates its 155th anniversary this year, said: “Mary Tealby is incredibly important to Battersea Dogs Home. Without her, 3.1 million dogs and cats would not have a second chance.”

Some descendants of Mrs Tealby were also present at the Freightliners gathering.

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Jean Kennedy, her great-great-great niece – who was there with her daughters Kate Kennedy and Imogen Fagan – said: “We had heard a vague rumour that we might be related but we only found out a few months ago in a letter.”

Battersea Dogs Home has managed to trace several of Mrs Tealby’s living descendents and plans on inviting them to the Home later this year.

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