The West Hatch RSPCA Centre in Taunton is fifty years old today. The facility cares for and re-homes injured pets and wild animals. The centre took in and cleaned up hundreds of birds after they were found covered in oil earlier this year.
In 1967 staff from the centre helped in one of the world's most serious oil spills. 32 million gallons of crude oil spilled along the cornish coastline killing 25 thousand seabirds. Staff from West Hatch helped to clean up the birds.
In 1993 West Hatch was told it had to close for a year because of a lack of money.
In 1996 the centre again helped birds needing treatment after an oil spill at Lundy Island. They were affected after the Sea Empress accident.
Steve Powell, who still works at the centre described what they were facing ..
In 2003 the centre found itself inundated with rats - domestic pets, not pests - and were trying to convince people they made good pets.
Carly Murdoch was one of the staff members at West Hatch ..