We are delighted to announce that The Mayhew Animal Home’s TheraPaws has been nominated for this year’s Animal Hero Awards’ Special Recognition Award.
The Daily Mirror’s Animal Hero Awards recognise and celebrate the most inspiring examples of bravery, dedication and resilience in the animal world. Nominations are judged by an impartial and independent panel including Lloyd Embley, Group Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People, Chief Veterinary Officer of the RSPCA, Dr James Yeates, PC Claire Todd, actor Peter Egan, singer and presenter Alesha Dixon, TV and radio presenter Nicky Campbell, singer Tom Fletcher, and Chief Executive of the Horse Trust, Jeanette Allen.
The judges looked at thousands of entries from the UK that highlighted a whole range of animal plights from puppy farming to dog fighting, cruelty to neglect, the dog meat industry to animals in captivity through to amazing rescues, animals that have gone above and beyond for their owners, service animals, and incredible heroism.
To be nominated is a tremendous accolade and recognition for our visiting pet therapy programme, TheraPaws. The programme takes volunteers and their dogs into hospitals, hospices, care homes and day centres across North and West London to engage with older people, particularly those with dementia, encouraging social interaction to promote emotional and physical wellbeing.
The programme also has mutual benefits for both humans and dogs and to improving relationships between the two. As well as enhancing people’s lives by helping to reduce social isolation and stress, the initiative also helps animals by raising awareness of the positive effects dogs can have. It reinforces our vision of promoting respect and compassion towards animals; it leads to an increase in awareness of why we should look out for our canine friends, and changing people’s myths and opinions of different dog breeds.
TheraPaws is also a good way for our volunteers to gain and build great relationships with the health professionals, residents and patients they visit and dedicate their time to most weeks. Our volunteers can see the benefits and how worthwhile it is taking their dogs on these visits, having witnessed first-hand the positive impact that it has on the residents from the way their eyes light up to the smile on their faces when they enter a room. It gives them something to look forward to, encourages them out of their beds and sparks conversation which can lead to unlocking memories and emotions. Our volunteers create a strong bond with the residents, as the dogs bring a lot of joy and comfort, especially to those who have had to give up their pets.
Not only are our TheraPaws dogs helping to improve peoples’ lives, but they are also brilliant dog ambassadors who are changing people’s perceptions – in our eyes, they are true pet heroes!
Luke Berman, Project Manager, TheraPaws, says; “It means so much for TheraPaws to be nominated for the Animal Hero Awards’ Special Recognition Award, especially as The Mayhew celebrates its 130th year this year.”
“With over 500 visits last year, our TheraPaws programme across London is rapidly growing and the venues where we visit are seeing the positive impact that the dogs and volunteers bring, so thank you to the Daily Mirror and the RSPCA for the recognition.”
“It’s been a fantastic year so far for The Mayhew, having won the Animal Charity Team of the Year in the 2016 Petplan and Association of Dogs and Cats Homes Animal Charity Awards. We are really excited about being nominated for the Animal Hero Awards and to win would top off a brilliant year for us.”
The winners will be announced in a special ceremony, hosted by actress and presenter Amanda Holden, on September 7th in central London. Please keep all of your fingers and paws crossed for us and we’ll keep you updated on the results.
We would like to thank everybody who supported us; we can’t do what we do for animals and pet owners without you.
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