Our History

The Sheffield Cats Shelter was established in 1897, by Jane Barker, a local philanthropist. In those early years, animal control, rather than welfare was a priority.

Our charity has an interesting history that reflects social changes and our attitudes towards animals.

2017 marks 120 years of us helping to take care of the cats and kittens of Sheffield.  To mark this impressive milestone we began to delve back into our history.

Did you know?Book at the sheffield cats shelter shop

  • We’re now on our 4th logo
  • In 1901 1,200 cats were admitted
  • We moved to Travis Place in 1964
  • We used to offer boarding for cats

You can read more about us in the publication ‘The Sheffield Cats Shelter : Celebrating 120 Years’. Available from the Shelter or our shop.

A huge thank you to our Trustee, Christine Goddard, without whose tireless research the book would never have been written.

In addition we are planning an exhibition to bring our history to as many local people as possible, showing how we have moved with the times.

Do come along to our open day on the 6th August 2017 when you’ll be able to have a tour of the shelter, see our exhibition display and enjoy some refreshments.

Are you related to Jane Barker?

We became fascinated in Jane whilst researching, but found it difficult to find out a great detail about her.

So we’d love to know whether she has any living relatives who could tell us more.

We know that she was born on 1 Nov 1866 and died on 24 Dec 1956. She had an elder brother, John, an elder sister, Mary Beatrice, and 2 younger brothers, Henry Shelly and Ernest.

Jane lived most of her life at 27 Collegiate Crescent, Sheffield, with her sister. We do not know whether Jane had any nieces or nephews, and have no record of what happened to John, but we know that Henry Shelly married and we think that he became a lawyer. Ernest was a medical student so we assume he had a career in medicine.

If you are related to the Barker family, or know anyone who is, we would love to hear from you!

If you would like to share any information please get in touch

  • Email: trustees@thesheffieldcatsshelter.org.uk
  • Tweet to @CatsShelter – please use the hashtag #CatsShelter120
  • Post on our facebook timeline
  • If you want to talk on the phone or in person, let us know and we’ll be in touch
  • Write to us care of Christine Goddard, The Sheffield Cats Shelter, 1 Travis Place, Sheffield S10 2DB