1897 

A group of animal lovers founded Our Dumb Friends League – the original name for Blue Cross – to care for working horses on the streets of London. 

1900

We bought the first horse ambulance to be used on London’s streets for £500, to transport injured animals to hospital.

1906

We opened our first animal hospital in Victoria, London, thought to be the first of its kind in the world. It has never once closed its doors to needy animals since.

1912

We launched the Blue Cross Fund to help animals during the Balkan War. We also helped animals in the First (1914-1918) and Second (1939-1945) World Wars.

1945

To help servicemen bring dogs back from overseas, our boarding kennels in Blackheath, London, were used for quarantine purposes.

1948

We launched national children’s dog shows to encourage children to care for their pets.

1958

We became officially known as The Blue Cross.

1959

We opened our new animal hospital in Grimsby.

1964

After 13 years of campaigning, we successfully persuaded the Irish government to ban horse exports.

1991

Our new head office in Burford, Oxfordshire, was officially opened.

1992

We were the first animal welfare charity to employ an animal behaviourist to help owners with problem pets.

1997

We celebrated our centenary and Her Majesty The Queen became Patron

1999

Our animal hospital in Merton was officially opened. 

2006

We open our new horse welfare centre in Rolleston-on-Dove, Staffordshire.

2009

We unveiled our new facilities at Thirsk and Southampton rehoming centres.

2012

We refreshed our Blue Cross brand so we could embrace the changing times, reach out to new supporters and help more pets.

2014

We now have 12 rehoming centres, four hospitals and by the end of 2014 we will have around 50 shops.

2014

Work starts on our new centre in Suffolk

2015

Refurbishment of our Bromsgrove centre starts 

2016

Our new Suffolk rehoming centre opened

Refurbishment of our Bromsgrove centre completed

Refurbishment of our Burford centre starts 

— Page last updated 14/10/2016