Hull & East Riding Branch

Our history

The National Society was formed nearly 190 years ago, Hull-born slave emancipator William Wilberforce MP, being among its founders. The objectives then, as now, were to prevent cruelty to animals by all lawful means and promote kindness. The society was granted royal patronage by Queen Victoria in 1840.

The Hull and East Riding branch, an unincorporated charitable organisation founded in 1903, continues this work as an independent charity.

The animal centre has existed on its current site located on Clough Road after being officially opened by Lady Atkinson on Friday 25th March 1938.

The first manager, Sydney Coleman, had the very difficult task of overseeing the animal centre and assisting the local community throughout the Second World War. Hull was bombed very badly during the Second World War and consequently many animals required compassionate assistance. When the bombs fell, the police would contact Mr Coleman to inform him of the worst hit areas of damage.  He would go out laden with food for the victims of bombings. On one occasion, he helped 99 pigs on Anlaby Road that hadn't been fed for 3 or 4 days.

On three occasions he was buried in rubble and had to be dug out by civil defence workers. Mr Coleman was called out to aid a wide variety of animals and birds. On one occasion an elderly lady required his assistance to rescue her pet parrot.  He crawled into the bombed-out building risking his life to rescue the bird in its cage from under a table. With even greater difficulty he exited the building despite a wall threatening to collapse, to reunite it with its owner. Mr Coleman was a dedicated manager for over 25 years and was awarded the RSPCA Silver Medal for his bravery.