For the past 17 years our Animal Welfare Officers have worked closely with charities and organisations that offer support to the homeless across London.
Some homeless people have animal companions, and very often this is their only companion and their reason for living. It is important to make sure that these pets are well cared for and that the owners are given welfare advice and help where needed. Here we show you what a typical day supporting the homeless’ and their dogs can look like…
Our AWO’s work closely with homeless organisations such as Spitalfields Crypt Trust and The Salvation Army and visit fifteen homeless centres regularly each year. Today they are visiting the Broadway Homeless Hostel and Drop in Centre in North London.
It’s time to pack the van full of essentials for the homeless’ dogs. Throughout the year we collect donations of food, treats, toys, poo bags, collars with tags and leads to give to them. In the colder months we’ll also give them waterproof coats to keep them warm and dry.
When the AWO’s arrive at the Centre, each dog gets a general check to make sure they are doing well. Our AWO’s have built a strong relationship with the homeless people at the centres and drop-ins they visit, their visitors and their dogs, so are greeted with a warm welcome and lots of doggy cuddles!
Our AWO’s see how the homeless are coping with their dogs and if there is anything that The Mayhew can help them with, whether that is support, advice or arranging neutering with our Mayhew Community Vet Clinic.
Our officers will also visit rough sleepers sleeping on the street to make sure their dogs are healthy and to offer them assistance if they need it.
If a dog needs further treatment and care, our AWO’s will organise a visit to a Mayhew Vet for free at our Community Vet Clinic.
Here we provide them with any urgent medical treatment, medicine and care, as well as free preventative care including neutering, microchipping and flea and worming treatments. Some dogs need and receive ongoing treatment and care that our AWO’s arrange with our Clinic.
The dogs who stay overnight with us to have treatment will be cared for until they are better and then we return them to the centre to be reunited with their owner as soon as possible.
You can read more about our work with the homeless here.
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