Hillbrae Kennels are primarily an animal rescue centre near Telford in Shropshire. They specialise in taking in lost and abandoned dogs as well as other animals. They try as hard as they can to re-home all of their strays, some can wait up to nine years for a new home and others may live out their lives in the kennels. Hillbrae has a non-destruct policy, which means they will not put down any animal unless it is absolutely unavoidable through accident or illness, often running up large vets’ bills for surgery and health care. They have one of the lowest put-down rates in the country.

          All the local authorities contact Hillbrae when they find strays and one day recently, a dog, a Staffordshire terrier, was found in Bridgnorth. Each animal found is given a unique code and in this case, it was B (for Bridgnorth) 249. That means it was the 249th such lost animal recovered. When he arrived at Hillbrae, he had to be given a proper name, like all the animals they take in. When my daughter Helen, who works there saw the number 249, she immediately thought of the RAF squadron and Flg Off Percy Burton of that squadron, who lost his life in a fight over Hailsham in September 1940. She said to her colleagues that he must be given the name Percy in honour of that pilot. They were curious to know why she had suggested the name but when she explained, they whole-heartedly agreed with her. So, Bridgnorth stray number 249 is the proud owner of his new name.

          The rescue centre is a registered charity and on Amazon, there is a wish-list for anybody who wishes to make a donation. The link is –


All he needs now is his own flying suit and goggles!

Our Thanks to David Calvert for this excellent article.