Though we closed our doors to the public in March last year, our teams in London and overseas have continued to work harder than ever to be there for dogs, cats and communities in need. From rescuing animals and providing veterinary care, to being just a phone call away for vulnerable pet owners throughout the pandemic, we’ve continued to work on the front lines of animal welfare each and every day.
No one could have predicted what the future would hold as Covid-19 spread around the globe. The last year has been challenging beyond words for many, and for many the struggles continue. Our thoughts go out to all of those who have lost loved ones, whose lives have been changed as a result of the pandemic, and who continue to battle the virus.
With the hardships we have all faced, we wanted to take a moment to celebrate the achievements we have had, both large and small, and the differences we have made to the lives of dogs, cats and our community since the first lockdown in March 2020.
Whilst our Home has been closed to members of the public, the team has continued to make sure that we are only ever a phone call away. Working from home or safely from the office, our reception staff have been providing vital support to members of the public, answering queries and responding to urgent calls, and helping the rest of our teams across our Home, all whilst maintained the smooth running of Mayhew!
At the start of 2021, our reception team welcomed a new Supawvisor, named Molly, who was adopted by Sue, our wonderful Receptionist and Dog Foster Carer. Molly has been dishing out tail wags and cuddles, and has been spreading smiles and positive vibes throughout the Home.
Dogs come into our care for a number of reasons, but no matter how they find their way here, our team always goes above and beyond to ensure each dog’s time with us is enriched, fun, and filled with comfort and love.
From creating fun games in our gardens, to going on long walks followed by down time to the tunes of soft reggae music, our Kennels staff have worked tirelessly to provide each dog with the best care and treatment to help them on their journey to recovery.
Over the course of the last year, dogs such as Ghost and Bella-Boo came into our care as the pandemic began to take its toll on owners, whilst others, like Dora, found their way here after being rescued by our Animal Welfare Officers (AWOs).
Dora was a stray dog who avoided human contact, and our team dedicated several months to her recovery. Starting with simply sitting with her, we slowly reintroduced Dora to human company. As she started to relax, we began to see her tail wagging with happiness and her confidence around us grow.
Dora’s rehabilitation was slow and steady, as she was easily startled by loud noises and strangers. But as she became more familiar with our team, her confidence began to increase, enough so that she was happy to start venturing out into our enclosed garden. Soon, her playful and affectionate side blossomed, and Dora found herself snapped up into a wonderful forever home.
Our supawstar Cattery team have kept our feline residents purring away whilst they spent time in our care. From play sessions to socialising with team members, the cats and kittens who have passed through our doors during the course of the year continued to receive all the care and treatment they needed to help them get back on their paws.
Just one of the many restrictions that Covid-19 had over the last year was a limit on neutering services. Sadly, this resulted in an increasing number of stray, feral and owned cats giving birth, leaving owners overwhelmed and unable to cope with an influx of new mouths to feed and increasing the population of feral cats in and around London. Our Cattery team have worked hard to ensure the rising number of kittens all received extra-special care and socialisation, teaching them all there is to know about being a cat, and so setting them up to succeed in their forever homes.
Once our canine and feline residents are ready to find their forever homes, our Dog and Cat Adoption Officers work hard to match each individual animal to the right home for them, no matter how long it takes.
With restrictions in place, we made a few changes to our rehoming process, moving to virtual home visits and interviews, which meant that our teams could still find the right homes for our four-legged residents. Last year, we rehomed 385 animals – and have loved receiving lots of updates from their new owners!
We also celebrated as some of our long stayers, like Linda and Bowie, finally found their forever homes after over year and a half in our care.
Lockdown had an impact on vet services across the UK as the pandemic took hold. Though most outpatient services were stopped for the majority of the year, our Vet team continued to provide around the clock care for our in-house residents and animal welfare cases.
When stray cat Cali was brought in by our AWOs with a painful looking abscess, our vets also found that he had a needle and thread wrapped in a wad of fur stuck at the back of his throat. Our team were able to quickly and easily extract the foreign object before it caused any further damage.
From increasing our welfare neutering in 2020 to help the most vulnerable people in our community, to re-starting vaccination clinics as soon as restrictions allowed to help prevent a rise in infectious diseases among the cat and dog populations, the dedicated team of vets and vet nurses at our Community Vet Clinic have continuously ensured that hundreds of animals received the treatment they needed.
From helping vulnerable members of our community care for their pets, to providing Personal Protective Equipment to care homes, our dedicated team of AWOs have continued to work on the front line since the outbreak of Covid-19.
We are so proud of our team of AWOs, who last year alone handled 1,060 animal welfare cases, and helped 538 animals outside the Home!
One such animal we helped was domesticated cat Charlie, who was not microchipped. There seemed little chance that we would be able to find his owner, if indeed he had one. However, as Charlie recovered in our care, we were delighted when his owner, who had spotted posters of his missing cat, called us. Charlie had gone missing during a time when the owner was isolating indoors with coronavirus symptoms – leaving him unable to go outside to search for his cat, or see our posters! Needless to say, the pair were overjoyed to be reunited.
As the year went on, we continued to find new ways to work, and it wasn’t long before we took our TheraPaws visits online.
Our TheraPaws programme provides emotional, physical and social wellbeing for those interacting with the therapy dogs. Whilst we had to suspend our physical visits to safeguard staff and service users, we knew our visits were sorely missed.
We were thrilled to announce in May that we were able to provide TheraPaws visits via video calls, and were overwhelmed to hear how happy people were to reconnect with their favourite TheraPaws dogs. We also offered some virtual TheraPaws visits to NHS staff members and their families.
It has been a busy year for our international teams, who faced many challenges throughout 2020. However, despite these difficulties, Mayhew Afghanistan reached their original target to neuter 10,000 dogs with their neutering programme in October, and Mayhew Georgia surpassed their target to neuter and vaccinate 1,000 dogs in 2020!
Our team in Afghanistan was able to continue their vital work throughout the year, including during lockdown, as the government deemed Mayhew Afghanistan’s Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate, Return (TVNR) programme important for public health. To ensure the safety of the staff, the team worked at half its usual capacity over the spring and summer of 2020.
In recent months, Dr Mo has also been providing Continued Professional Development (CPD) for the vets at our Animal Birth Control (ABC) Centre to help them develop their skills further. Two of our members of staff even rehomed dogs that we helped recently, and we loved hearing how settled dogs Roki and Kantor were in their new homes.
Mayhew Georgia’s work has to be put on hold as Georgia went into lockdown at the start of the pandemic. As we were unable to Trap, Vaccinate, Neuter and Return free-roaming and community owned dogs in Georgia, our team saw a spike in the number of new litters being born, along with more road traffic accidents and cases of disease. However, once restrictions lifted, our team were able to recommence procedures and made great strides in neutering hundreds of dogs.
We also began to work collaboratively with mobile vet clinic Doggie Doc, which allows our vets to reach free-roaming and community owned dogs in areas outside of the capital, Tbilisi, where veterinary provision is very limited.
At the end of 2020, Mayhew International was able to bring their collaboration with HOPE and Animal Trust in Ranchi, India, to a close. Since 2008, we’ve helped them to secure a safer and healthier free-roaming dog population, and educate the local community about rabies and the welfare of these dogs. Ranchi now has a stable dog population, with with more than 70% of the dogs neutered and vaccinated and there have been no recorded human deaths from rabies in the city since 2017. We know that the animals and communities in Ranchi are in excellent hands and look forward to watching HOPE and Animal Trust continue their vital work, whilst we focus on Mayhew Afghanistan and Mayhew Georgia.
We have had a busy year campaigning to raise awareness and raise vital funds to allow us to continue our work. From celebrating ‘Lucy’s Law’ coming into force in April 2020, to raising life-changing funds to help provide healthy and secure futures for the free-roaming dogs of Georgia, your support and generous donations have enabled us to continue providing our services in London and overseas.
With lockdowns limiting our ability to run our Trap, Neuter, Return programme, which provides neutering for feral cats in London, we started to see the feral cat population spiral out of control. Our Feral AdvoCAT campaign set about to help people understand and acknowledge the unique needs of feral cats, and encouraged members of the public to help them by providing food, water and shelter.
Since March 2020, we have also been inundated with calls from our local community in need of help due to isolation or vulnerability, and so our AWOs began running contactless delivery services for people who were otherwise unable to access essential dog and cat supplies. Our bespoke care packages included essential items such as warm coats, light up collars, flea and worming treatments, toys and other enriching items for people’s beloved pets. With your incredible support, we were able to deliver hundreds of care packages throughout the year!
As physical events worldwide were cancelled, we moved our events online. We loved seeing all of your entries for our Work from Home Pet Awards and Hounds in Your Home events, and were thrilled to virtually greet so many of you at our star-studded event, Mayhew Carols.
And whilst we’ve had to press pause on many of our volunteer roles, to ensure the safety of our core Home team, we continue to miss our volunteers greatly and look forward to welcoming them back when it is safe to do so! We are also very thankful for the unending work of our wonderful volunteers who have continued to be able to carry out their roles, such as our volunteer foster carers.
Throughout what has been a challenging year for us all, we have been overwhelmed by your continuous support. Thank you for following our stories, cheering us on and supporting our work, all the while enabling us to help dogs, cats and communities.
Thanks to your support during this challenging year, Mayhew continued to help hundreds of animals and people in 2020. It's hard to put into words how much your support meant last year - we couldn't have done any of it without you!Watch the video
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