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    • 24 May, 2019

    The rescues that are giving back

    From the minute a dog or cat comes into Mayhew’s care, our teams spring into action and give them the medical attention, training and TLC they need so that they can go home to loving forever families. When we wave them off, we expect (and hope!) that we won’t see them again.

    Sometimes, though, we get very lucky and dogs come back to Mayhew not because they are in need of our help, but because they are ready to take on a special new role: as a TheraPaws dog.

    TheraPaws is Mayhew’s dog-therapy programme, where volunteers and their pets go into care homes, hospitals, workplaces and a whole range of other spaces to provide people with the physical and mental health benefits you get from spending time with animals.

    “It's great to see so many rescue dogs coming back and applying to be part of the programme. When I ask the new owners why they wanted to join, they always say that their pet has brought so much joy to them that they want to share that joy with people who need it the most.”

    Niamh Carwood

    TheraPaws Coordinator

    Meet some of our amazing ex-Mayhew dogs who are now spreading the love to others with TheraPaws!

    Left: Noodle; Centre Top: Lola; Centre Bottom: Roobarb; Right: Betsy


    Eight-year-old Noodle has visited Butterworth Care Home with her owner Deborah for over three years.

    “Noodle has an uncanny knack of steering towards those who seem to have the most need for her, gently nuzzling for their attention and skipping up onto laps and beds. She becomes a catalyst for conversation with a group of people who have often ceased to engage very much; eyes light up and stories of pets of yesteryear often emerge.” – Deborah


    Staffie Lola and owner Charlie visited Kenbrook Care Home for three years before she retired at 14 years old.

    “I don’t think Lola is unique. All TheraPaws dogs are amazing and Lola is just one of them. I think her temperament was what made us think she’d be good for TheraPaws, because she’s so placid and calm and she never barks.” – Charlie


    Six-year-old Roobarb started visiting Lawnfield House Care Home in 2017 with her owner Claire.

    “Roobarb meticulously works her way around the room, wagging her tail and sitting with each resident in turn. She now extends this to random people sitting on benches in our local park.” – Claire


    Two year old Betsy visits Ealing Manor Nursing Home with her owner Jennifer.

    “When I adopted Betsy from the Mayhew last year, she had a bit of a tough time with separation anxiety, so she’d come around with me most of the time. She joined me regularly at some voluntary dance sessions I run for elderly residents and went down a storm (and she loved it too!). I thought she could make a great therapy dog – what better organisation to do it through than the charity I adopted her from… the Mayhew!” – Jennifer

    From Top Left: Pi; Ciara; Poppy; Lola


    Irene takes her two-year-old Mayhew rescue Pi to Kingsgate Day Centre

    “Pi loves her job as a TheraPaws dog. She greets her friends at the Kingsgate Centre when they come into the room – she knows they have treats for her!” – Irene


    Twelve-year-old Ciara visits Mary Feilding Care Home with her owner Sarah.

    “Ciara loves to greet everyone she comes across on our walks, and I thought this would really translate well for her if she was to become a TheraPaws dog. I was not wrong. She adores connecting with each person at the care home we visit. I love seeing the joy she brings and know she too loves the attention.” – Sarah


    Little Poppy is one of TheraPaws’ newest recruits and owner Denise will take her on visits to the elderly care ward at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, north-west London.

    “Poppy loves every dog and every human. Everyone stops to pat her when we go for a walk and people ask if they can take her photo. She hasn’t got a mean bone in her body, and she is very well behaved and very well known in the district. I am looking forward to taking her to the Royal Free Hospital to bring a smile to anyone who is feeling unwell.” – Denise


    Adrian adopted eight-year-old Akita Lola from Mayhew in 2018 and the duo have just become a TheraPaws team.

    “If ever there was a case of ‘do not judge a book by its cover’, Lola is it: a formidable-looking dog with a wonderfully calm, loving nature. From the impression she makes with whoever she meets, I know she will be a great asset and fantastic ambassador for TheraPaws.” – Adrian

    In memory of Jet

    Beautiful Jet had two wonderful years bringing joy to the care home she visited with owner Sarah, before sadly passing away aged 15.

    “Jet’s visits to St Vincent’s House Care Home changed her behaviour on a daily basis. Whenever she saw an elderly or disabled person sitting in the park on her walk, she would stand or sit by them and rest her head in their lap for a stroke. She would sit there until I called her away and it made the person in the park very happy!” – Sarah



    TheraPaws is our dog therapy programme that works to improve wellbeing in our local community. Find out more, or arrange a visit today.

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