At The Mayhew we think all pets are heroes and this National Pet Month we’re celebrating the positive impacts pets can have on all lives whether they’re human or animal, young or old.
We’ve met lots of truly inspiring pets over the years, and have collected a few of our favourite stories to show just how amazing pets can be. From Antonio the cat who helps other cats by donating his rare blood, to Lola our TheraPaws doggy volunteer who warms human hearts and dishes out cuddles in care homes – we’ve put together a tribute to a few of our pet heroes…
Antonio is a true hero for kitties everywhere, swooping in to help felines where he can by being a special blood donor.
Despite his selflessness, Antonio didn’t have the best start to life himself after being abandoned with his four siblings when he was just a tiny kitten. Antonio and his siblings were only 12 weeks old when they were brought into The Mayhew, but it wasn’t long before he was adopted along with his sister Serafina in 2013.
Both kittens settled in well to their new home, and after a few months, their owner Sandra was approached by her local Village Vet who asked if she might consider putting Antonio forward as a blood donor. Antonio was the ideal candidate being so strong and healthy, but was also sweet-natured and gentle too.
Since Antonio was a rescue cat himself, Sandra loved the idea that he would be able to help other cats in need too, so she said yes. Antonio passed all the tests to make sure he was a viable donor and a surprise discovery was made…Antonio has the rare blood group B! Since then Antonio has been registered as a Village Vet blood donor and has been helping as many cats in need as he can. Giving blood is completely harmless for a cat and Antonio is always sedated throughout the procedures so he doesn’t feel any discomfort or distress at all.
One lucky cat who Antonio rushed to rescue, had fallen three storeys out of a flat window. This poor little cat was in a critical condition, suffering from internal bleeding and needed an urgent blood transfusion to survive. Thankfully, the cat responded well to the transfusion and Antonio who donated the blood, returned home that evening none the worse for wear, except for a couple of shaved patches of fur – what a fantastic feline hero!
Read more about Antonio’s story here.
This is Lola the lovely ten year old Staffie who dedicates her precious time to elderly people, by volunteering as a TheraPaws dog to go into care homes across London to dish out much-needed cuddles and love.
Lola and her doting owner, Charlie, have been visiting The Kenbrook Residential Home, which provides care for the elderly suffering from dementia, since August 2015. Lola is the perfect therapy dog because she is so gentle and peaceful to be around – and she really enjoys her visits, with her tail constantly wagging and nose searching for crumbs.
Charlie adopted Lola from us six years ago, after she was dumped at our shelter during the night in her bed with her toys. Lola is a rare “blue” (grey coat) Staffie and her puppies can sell for up to £1000 per pup, so sadly the people who owned her before used her as a breeding machine.
When Charlie first arrived at our home to adopt a dog, she was looking for any dog other than a Staffie, but once she saw Lola, that was it, she fell in love.
Charlie said: “I couldn’t speak more highly about Staffies now. Since I got her and my friends have met her, two of them have gone on to adopt Staffies, and specifically sought out Staffies because Lola is such a fantastic dog.”
Not only is Lola a caring therapy dog who is helping to improve peoples’ lives, but she is also a brilliant Staffie ambassador who is changing people’s perceptions – in our eyes, she’s a true pet hero!
Daisy was a hero to three little abandoned kittens last year when she adopted them after losing her own.
As soon as stray cat Daisy came into The Mayhew with her three young kittens, we knew she was a special mum. Daisy has been nurturing her young kittens on her own outside, which is hard enough, but also all three kittens sadly had deformities and no use of their lower limbs. It was remarkable that Daisy had managed to look after these kittens alone for so long.
When our vet team gave mum and babies a check up we found out that the prognosis for the kittens unfortunately wasn’t good, and we had to make the difficult decision to humanely put the little kittens to sleep.
At the time, we were hand rearing several young kittens who had all been rejected by their mothers. As there is no real replacement for a loving feline mother, our team decided to see if amazing mum Daisy might take on the role for three kittens who were being hand reared.
Snuggle Bear, Kitten Bear and Bozo were just a day old when they were abandoned by their mum and were in desperate need of some feline mother care. Amazingly, Daisy stepped in like a true hero and took to the kittens instantly, giving them the love and nurturing they so needed.
Since then, Daisy and the kittens have been inseparable and remained together until they were old enough to find homes of their own.
Read more about Daisy’s story here.
Lots of pets don’t even like being bathed, let alone examined, but Staffie cross Cooper has been a true medical hero by allowing his vet student owner Jessica to practice her techniques on him to help her with the practical side to her studies.
Cooper came to The Mayhew in 2011 as a young, lively pup of just 4 months, and was shortly afterwards adopted by Jessica, our vet student. Jessica came back to our clinic in 2015 for a short placement as part of her studies, where she filled us in on how amazing Cooper had been.
Whilst studying veterinary medicine, Jessica realised that the best way to learn was to get hands on, so one day she decided to perform a physical examination on Cooper, which involved inspecting his skin, coat, teeth, eyes and ears, as well as listening to internal organs such as the heart and abdomen.
Since then Cooper has been more than happy to oblige when Jessica needs to practice, and he even goes along to her classes sometimes, allowing her fellow students to practice ultrasounds on him.
Cooper’s owner, Jessica, said: “He’s just a big ball of love! He’s so good with people and really likes having a fuss made over him. He doesn’t even realise how much he is helping us to learn when he lets us practice on him.”
As if that wasn’t all enough, Cooper is also a blood donor (like Antonio) at the Royal Veterinary College in London, where he gives blood every six months and is even on call to help in emergencies – what an amazing pooch!
Find out more about National Pet Month and how we’re celebrating it here.
Is your pet a hero? Share with us on social media why you think your pet is amazing and deserves some pawsome recognition this National Pet Month!
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