Beatie is known for her love of animals and is a much-valued Mayhew ambassador. She chats with us about animal welfare, her own dogs (Mayhew rescues, naturally) and life during – and after – lockdown.
I think it started when I adopted my dogs, Billie and Button. Our family has always had rescue dogs and cats, but I think it’s my passion for my own dogs that has led to me caring more about animals worldwide – animal welfare is important for a civilised society, isn’t it?
Educating people that animals are sentient beings is a good start. And of course, ‘adopt don’t shop’ is a really important message. There’s a worrying trend of people buying and selling dogs online, when they should be speaking to rescue centres instead. Unfortunately, as long as there is a market for buying dogs there will be people making money from it. Animals are not a fashion accessory or a commodity.
It was really when I decided to get a dog in 2012 and was matched with Billie, a pup who was staying with a wonderful foster family (just one of the things I love about Mayhew is your army of volunteers!). Then, in 2014, my mum [actress Sylvia Syms] adopted Bunny, a Jack Russell terrier, and in 2017 Yorkshire terrier Button joined our family. Between us we now have three rescue dogs, all from the Mayhew – how could I not become a supporter?
What I love about Mayhew is you always look at the bigger picture. You’re brilliant in the local community and then you do all this amazing work overseas. When I hosted an event introducing supporters to Mayhew’s international work in Georgia, we heard how the team has introduced a spay and neutering programme which is bringing the free-roaming dog population under control and is helping to prevent the suffering that overpopulation causes. You also train overseas vets, contributing massively to the welfare of animals worldwide.
When I was filming Poldark, I thought if I could get signed scripts, books etc, I might be able to auction the items for Mayhew. I pestered all the cast and we ended up with quite a treasure trove of signed items, which we auctioned online, making £3,854. I also recently did the 2.6 Challenge, completing 26,000 steps to raise money for Mayhew. Every little helps, even if I’m just raising £100. I’ve had an idea so watch this space…
I had theatre work planned for the whole of last year and was due to start rehearsals for a new play just as lockdown hit last spring, then everything was cancelled. So, in 2021 I need a job, please! That said, one of the joys of lockdown has been being with my dogs. Billie and Button have got rather spoilt as we are never apart, which we all love!
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