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    • 15 Jun, 2018

    Why is Pet Refuge a lifeline for people in need?

    Since 2004, we have been helping pet owners facing a personal crisis and with no option of help to care for their animal, through our vital Pet Refuge programme. This initiative provides support for vulnerable pet owners facing a personal crisis including hospitalisation, rehab, detox for alcohol and drug addiction, or even those sent to prison.

    Pet Refuge involves our Animal Welfare Officers ensuring that the animal receives the best possible care and is placed in a safe and comfortable environment for the duration of the crisis period. They also receive essential veterinary care from our on-site Community Vet Clinic including neutering and vaccinations. For many people facing a personal crisis, this service is a lifeline.

    Our Head of Animal Welfare, Zoe Edwards, said: “In this job you deal with a lot of situations where the owner is going through a hard time and just needs some support and advice to help them with their animal.

    “We are often referred to as ‘Animal Social Workers’ because we are able to help and support vulnerable people in need with their animals – and ultimately keep the owner and animal together.

    “Mayhew aims to be proactive and innovative, working to help animals and their carers by running outreach community initiatives such as our Pet Refuge programme.”


    For Nayan, who has recurring health issues, our Pet Refuge programme was the only place he could turn to for help with looking after his beloved 12-year-old Staffie cross called Fearne.

    Nayan explains: “I live with a disability that keeps me at home a lot of the time, so adopting Fearne from Mayhew just over three years ago helped me at a really crucial time of my life. I tell people that we rescued each other. She gets me up in the mornings and out the door when probably not much else would.

    “After adopting Fearne from Mayhew, I’ve followed the charity ever since and that’s how I first heard about Pet Refuge. At a time where my health was particularly bad, I was getting to a point where I was struggling to get out of the house, even to give Fearne walks or the love and attention that she needs, so I really needed some help. The Pet Refuge programme sounded ideal and after speaking with the Animal Welfare Officers, they offered to look after Fearne for six weeks, which was the perfect amount of time to give me a break and a chance to get my health back to where it needed to be.

    “While Fearne was with Mayhew, I was really pleased that they gave her such great care and treatment, she even had a dental procedure, which is something that she had needed for a while.

    “After six very long weeks being reunited with Fearne was incredible, I don’t know who was more excited. It was very special for many reasons, for me, my health was so much better, so I had more energy to enjoy the reunion.

    “Mayhew’s Pet Refuge programme has been a real lifeline for me. It was brilliant that they were able to look after Fearne at such a crucial time. I hate to think what I would have had to do without it. The thought of giving up Fearne completely is horrible because we are both so happy together.”

    Our Animal Welfare Officer, Tania Mazzoni, added: “It is extremely clear to see that Nayan and Fearne have this incredible bond. They would be lost without each other and that’s why it is so important that we were able to help during this crisis period and fundamentally keep them together.”

    For many vulnerable people, their dog is their best friend, so we are proud to have helped keep them together and provided essential care to so many animals over the past 14 years.

    Every year our Animal Welfare Officers and Community Vet Clinic respond to hundreds of animals in need. They rely solely on public donations and receive no government funding. So please consider a donation by visiting to help them help even more animals. Alternatively you can text “PAWS37 £5” or your chosen amount up to £10 to 70070.

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