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1902: Foundation of Stichts Asyl voor Dieren (Animal Sanctuary)

Getekende kattenkop bij de presentielijst van de ledenvergadering op 20 maart 1925.

For the 19th century person a pet is a useful animal. A dog can pull a car, a cat must catch mice. There were many stray cats and dogs. In 1865 following the example of The Hague a "Society for the Protection of Animals" was established in Utrecht. In 1902, 9 Utrecht women formed a committee for the foundation of an animal shelter. The most important aim is to take in stray cats and dogs. On April 10th 1902 they held a meeting in the building Irene in the Keistraat to call such a society into being. Through gifts and member contributions in was possible pay for the taking in and care of the animals. It was also possible to have a pet cared for temporarily for a fee. 

In 1902 all the animals were kept in the attic of the house of the chair, Mrs J.F. Ebeling-Wakker at number 9 Ramstraat, and in the house of the future trustee, Philippus Sollman, at Hovenstraat. In August 1902 the society hired some land on the corner of Abstederdijk and Markstraat. Architect W.M. Reyerse selflessly made a design for the shelter with space for 60 cats and 50 dogs. On May 12th 1903 the new building was opened. In the first years the shelter cared for 478 stray animals and lodging pets. The shelter tried to find the stray animals a good home. But sick or wounded animals were killed with a special suffocation device. The police also brought in dogs to have them put down. In that case dogs that were found wandering around without a collar. 

The shelter provided for a great need. In 1907 a second keeper was appointed and in 1910 the cattery was expanded. In the '20s the shelter outgrew itself and there were no more expansion possibilities. The noise was also causing problems. In 1928 the shelter bought a new piece of ground on the Houtenschepad and in 1930 a new building complex there was taken into use. In 2003 the shelter moved to Koningsweg.

Ontwerp voor het nieuwe complex aan het Oude Houtensepad.

J. van der Meulen, 'Uit mededoogen met het lijdende dier'.
Stichts Asyl voor Dieren 100 jaar. In: Tijdschrift Oud-Utrecht, jaargang 75 (2002) nr. 7.

Archief van het Stichts Asyl voor Dieren, 1902-ca 1980 (nog niet geïnventariseerd).

Translated by T. Harris, original Dutch text can be found at http://www.hetutrechtsarchief.nl/thema/tijdbalk/1902.