Remembering Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to Dogs Trust West Calder

To celebrate Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, Dogs Trust West Calder look back at the Queen’s special visit to the Rehoming Centre in 1994. 

The Royal Family have always been avid supporters of animal rights. Throughout her reign, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has been internationally celebrated for her love of dogs, particularly her beloved Corgis. Dogs Trust are thrilled to have Her Majesty the Queen be a Patron of the charity, actively championing the charity’s work in dog welfare for decades. 

In June 1994, Dogs Trust West Calder were honoured to welcome Her Majesty the Queen to officially open the new Scottish Dogs Trust Rehoming Centre. 


Dogs Trust West Calder sits on a stunning 23 acres of land. The site was first discovered by Lieutenant-Colonel Hendrick Roosemalecocq, former chief executive of the National Canine Defence League, in 1992. Aside from a sole caravan belonging to Golden Retriever breeders, the farmland was bare – and brimming with opportunity. 

On 29 June 1994, staff were pleased to welcome Queen Elizabeth II to the brand-new facility, known then as Bentyhead Kennels. During her visit, the Queen was given a behind-the-scenes tour of the kennels where staff displayed West Calder’s state-of the art parasol kennel system. This innovative design meant dogs could get wide views of the outside world from their kennels without seeing their canine neighbours – the perfect solution for any dog-wary pooches who might arrive at the centre. 

Her Majesty was also shown the stunning woodland which surrounds the kennels, thanks to its rural location. Full of wildlife and with plenty of interesting sights to explore, it remains the perfect location for our dogs’ daily adventures. 

Of course, there was plenty of time for the Queen to meet some of the Rehoming Centre’s very first four-legged guests, too! 


Although the Rehoming Centre has had a few upgrades since its grand opening in 1994, visitors can still see the special memorial plaque Queen Elizabeth II unveiled during her visit. Proudly displayed on the wall of the Rehoming Centre’s Reception building, it is a fond reminder of Her Majesty’s continued support of Dogs Trust’s mission to help dogs enjoy happy lives.