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    • 19 Jul, 2021

    Supporting pet owners when crises hit

    At Mayhew, we try our hardest to keep people and their pets together and this can mean offering extra support to those going through a temporary crisis. For the individuals who need it, our Pet Refuge programme is a lifeline.

    There are many reasons why people request our service, and every crisis situation is assessed by our team, but often it is because a pet owner is in desperate need of hospital treatment and has no one to ask for help. We step in to look after pets for short periods of time and make sure that every animal admitted to us through Pet Refuge receives the best possible care for the duration of the crisis, so owners can get the care they need knowing that their dog or cat is in safe hands.

    Jacqueline’s story

    For Jacqueline, a series of extremely unfortunate events led her to entrust us with her three beloved cats – Vince, Violet and Tegan – for almost three months at the beginning of this year.

    After undergoing multiple surgeries on an arthritic knee, Jacqueline was urgently admitted to an intensive care unit with sepsis, a life-threatening condition. Her neighbour was able to visit and feed her cats, taking a weight off her mind for the first couple of weeks; however, when Jacqueline was discharged into a rehabilitation centre to recover, her neighbour caught Covid-19 and was no longer able to leave her house.

    With nobody close by to check on Vince, Violet and Tegan, and Jacqueline not yet ready to return home, she was understandably worried about their welfare. Her care team thankfully found Mayhew’s Pet Refuge programme and when they got in touch we were more than happy to help.

    Jacqueline’s three beloved cats: Vince, Violet, and Tegan.

    “I don’t know what would have happened without your help. My cats are my reason for living and they gave me the determination to get better and walk again. ”


    Pet Owner

    Road to recovery – and reunion

    Jacqueline unfortunately had a few more roadblocks to navigate before they could all be reunited. A few days before she was due to be discharged, she caught Covid-19 herself and had to extend her stay at the rehabilitation centre until she and her fellow patients and staff were given the all clear.

    Throughout Jacqueline’s ordeal, Vince, Violet and Tegan were safe and happy together at Mayhew. After two and half months, we were thrilled to hear that Jacqueline had recovered from Covid-19 and was once again preparing to be discharged from hospital. Luck was on her side this time, as she finally made it home and was reunited with her beloved cats at long last.

    “I don’t know what would have happened without your help,” Jacqueline told us. “I probably would have had to rehome them all, and that would have been absolutely heart-breaking. My cats are my reason for living and they gave me the determination to get better and walk again. I don’t know what I’d do without them.”

    Jacqueline is still receiving rehabilitation at home and we’ve helped arrange for a cat sitter to provide extra support for a couple of weeks. With her four-legged best friends back by her side, she already feels better than ever and credits Pet Refuge with helping her get back to health.

    “Jacqueline’s story highlights the wonderful benefits of the human–animal bond, as she herself puts her recovery down to knowing her animals were being cared for and would be waiting for her when she returned home.”

    AJ Ford

    Animal Welfare Officer

    Pet Refuge

    We provide shelter and care for the pets of people in crisis for short periods of time. Find out more about how we keep people and pets together through our Pet Refuge programme.

    Find out more

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