Irish Setter Rescue and Rehome History

Irish Setter Rescue and Rehome as we know it today started as the Irish Setter Breeders Club Rescue Scheme and we are very lucky that Barbara Rogers, who was secretary of the scheme from 1972 until late 2012, wrote its history which is the source of much of the material below.

The scheme was founded in 1970 because Janice Roberts (Cornevon) was concerned that unwanted Irish setters needed support until a suitable home was found and asked that a rescue fund be set up. At that time the numbers of Irish Setters being registered was considerably higher than it is today and in 1972 numbers were moving towards 5000 with a peak of some 5590 in 1974.

In 1972 a rescue subcommittee was formed and it was named The Irish Setter Rescue Scheme and its objective was to rehome unwanted Irish setters.

Rescue figures remained steady at about 75 dogs per year for the first four years and many of the reasons why setters needed rehoming at that time still apply today:-

  • We rescued it but it is too big for us
  • No time to exercise
  • It wanders (do not have a fenced garden)
  • Domestic difficulties
  • Emigration
  • We are having a baby/second baby etc.
  • Broken marriage / relationship
  • Sheep Chasing
  • Family allergies/heart attacks etc.
  • We do not want it anymore

In 1974 Kate O’Callaghan joined the subcommittee, eventually becoming treasurer in 2008 until 2017. She was always a champion of the scheme and worked tirelessly to support it. 

In 1976 Sybil Lennox became chairman and for many years she was the mainstay of the scheme, being pro-active and superb at fundraising

Also in 1976 a sponsored walk was held to raise funds and this might have been the first walk of the ISBC East Midlands region sponsored walks. However Sybil Lennox had hosted an earlier walk from her home Treetops in Matlock, a tradition that continues today courtesy of Gill and Andy Dale and which is one of our major annual fund raising events.

ISRANDR History 1





A snapshot of the 2007 Rescue Walk, shows some dogs out on the walk, others relaxing over refreshments in the garden at Treetops, the home of Sybil Lennox and her brother Steve.







The First Rescue Open Show was held in 1980 and organised by ISBC West Midlands Social Section and in 1982, as the first three shows were great successes, the ISBC committee decided to use one of its open show licences each year for rescue and this continues to this day.  

The numbers of dogs needing rescuing rose steadily until 1981 when 412 dogs were handled by the scheme with the total figure for the previous 10 years being 1299.

1988 was the year that Janice Roberts Oldham (JRO) the founder of the Rescue Scheme died and it was agreed that each year, in her memory the Scheme should nominate a dog as the “Janice Roberts Oldham dog” (JRO) and that its story be included in the ISBC Year Book. 

ISRANDR History 2

Carmen – no 2001-99 and Roper – no 2001-100 were nominated as joint JRO dogs for 2001

 The photographs were provided by their owners in 2008

By 1993 concerns were being raised about the financial situation of the scheme but as it could not become a charity and remain within the ISBC it was suggested that a separate Charitable Trust, responsible for the administration of rescue funds, be set up. The Rescue Scheme would remain part of the club but be able to count on financial support from the trust and strong ties between the club and the trust could be maintained. In this way THE IRISH RED SETTER RESCUE CHARITABLE TRUST  (IRSRCT) – Charity number 1037633  was established and David Jack was its Secretary/Treasurer until he stood down last year  Over the years several bequests have been made to ISBC rescue which helped put the scheme on a very sound financial footing and for which we are very grateful.

By 2002 the number of dogs received by the scheme fell to 95 and is now stands about a 30 to 40 a year.

2008 was a very sad year for us as Sybil Lennox, who had been a very active Chairman since 1976, died and in her memory the Rescue Open Show was renamed the Sybil Lennox Memorial Open Show. Rescue is still an important aspect of the show where the prize draw continues to take place.

In 2010 a second walk started in Devon courtesy of Patrick and Jane Simpson and is now known as the Dartmoor Walk and which is also a major fundraising event.

More photos & videos of this years 2019 walks along with details of next years walks can be found by clicking on Events tab in menu above.

In 2017 the scheme was transferred to IRSRCT and the name was changed to Irish Setter Rescue and Rehome (ISRANDR). This enabled the scheme to have charitable status, but the association with the ISBC continues and remains important to us. What is also important is the support that has been given, and continues to be given, by so many people in so many different ways.

21st Nov 2019