About Us

The Staff

A few of the friendly faces you see at our shelter are volunteers.  There are as many different ways of volunteering as there are people, and our doors are always open to those who want to help positively impact the lives of the animals here. From the strong builders to the tech wizards, no matter what you do — we welcome everyone to reach out.

Volunteers offer as much of their free time to the Shelter as they feel they can comfortably offer. The two most obvious forms of volunteering are helping us in the kennels with the day to day running of the Shelter and fund raising in its many and varied forms. To find more out about being a volunteer, please click the button below for extended information & the form. 

The Shelter

The Destitute Animals Shelter is a rescue charity dedicated to caring for the lost, stray and abandoned dogs and cats of the Bolton area. We have a non-destruction policy and are committed to reducing the unwanted cat and dog problem in this area by neutering every animal that we re-home. We help, love & rehome over 450 animals per year!

The Shelter is a ‘Charitable Trust’. This differs from a more normal charity in that it was founded by a very kind lady in the 1920’s who left a property on Deane Road to be used for the purpose of caring for the ‘destitute’ cats and dogs of Bolton. We moved from the Deane Road house some time later to our now famous address at Vernon Street where we stayed until the 1970’s; after which we moved to our present site, Northolt Drive.

Dog And Cat Accommodation

All outdoor kennels have heating pipes to keep the dogs warm. Most outdoor kennels have supplementary piped hot water heating. All outdoor kennels have lighting along the aisles. Ventilation is maintained at all times and draughts avoided.


It is a legal requirement for all dogs and cats to be microchipped.

For £7.00 we will chip your pet. It is a quick painless injection in to the area between the dog’s shoulder blades.There is a registration form to fill in and confirmation will be emailed to you within 4 weeks. If your pet becomes lost and is taken in by the police, dog wardens or your local animal shelter they will scan the animal for an I.D chip and a 15 digit number will appear on the scanner, this number allows the finder to trace the animals owners in seconds. It is also very important that you keep your address up to date.

If you need to get your pet chipped, please get in touch!

Animal Welfare

The welfare of our animals is something we are deeply passionate about. We recognise that a lot of our residents have come from abusive, or neglectful situations, and while they recover and find their forever homes, we want their stay with us to be as restful and healing as possible. Inspections are carried out three times daily by both the duty manager and the kennel staff, with every single check marked down and signed. This is to maintain the excellent standard of care that we strive to achieve.

We have rigorous cleaning & sanitation routines, as well as measures to prevent cross contamination between kennels and animals. We accommodate all dietary needs for our residents; with a variety of options and nutritionally balanced & complete meals including raw, canned, wet & dry for both our dogs and cats.

Veterinary Care

We use two different veterinary practices in rotation. At any one time we are visiting one of the vets to carry out the surgeries on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and another practice to carry out the neuters and routine operations on the animals that have completed their initial 7 days.

All of our kennel staff and volunteers are trained to identify common signs of infections and viruses that our residents may have arrived with, or picked up in transit. We have extensive quarantine measures and treatment plans informed by the veterinarian that we follow to ensure the highest chances of recovery, and no risk of spread to the rest of our animals.