Housing

Animal charity The Mayhew Animal Home offers refuge to homeless dogs

The rescue charity is now running a "pet refuge" scheme to support homeless pet owners with no other option of help

A leading animal welfare charity is offering support to homeless dog owners facing personal crises.

The Mayhew Animal Home has a “pet refuge” scheme for anyone struggling to provide care for their dog temporarily, whether through illness, hospitalisation, addiction detox, or an unexpected move to another part of the country.

It’s an extension of the charity’s outreach work on the streets of London, as the Mayhew’s welfare officers give free health check-ups to the canine companions of rough sleepers.

We are referred to as animal social workers because we are able to help and support vulnerable people in need

“In this job you deal with a lot of situations where the owner is going through a hard time and just needs some support and advice to help them with their animal,” the Mayhew’s head of animal welfare Zoe Edwards explained.

The refuge scheme involves welfare officers finding the best possible foster carer for the dog during a period of crisis. And although separation can be painful, the charity insists it is done in the best interests of both animal and owner.

“We are often referred to as animal social workers because we are able to help and support vulnerable people in need with their animals – and ultimately keep the owner and animal together,” said Edwards.

The charity’s welfare officers make regular visits to 15 homeless centres in the capital, providing collars with tags and leads, jackets in the winter months, food, treats and poo bags. They also offer neutering and vaccinations at the Community Vet Clinic in Kensal Green.

A dog is often a homeless person’s only companion and they create this incredible bond

The Mayhew Animal Home is celebrating its 17th anniversary of its outreach work with homeless people this month.

One of the Mayhew’s animal welfare officer, Tania Mazzoni, said: “A dog is often a homeless person’s only companion and they create this incredible bond. We strive to tackle the companion animal welfare crisis from every possible angle.”

If you are interested in fostering an animal through the Mayhew’s pet refuge scheme, please contact 0208 962 8000 or info@mayhewanimalhome.org

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