Ten years ago Wully Struthers found himself homeless on the streets of London with his dog after his girlfriend died. Drinking since he was 11 years old he is convinced he would not have survived much longer had staff at The Mayhew not persuaded him to put his dogs into the Pet Refuge programme and go to rehab.
By the time he was an adult Wully had become addicted to drink and soon graduated to four bottles of super strength cider a day. Unable to give up, he was lost and feeling hopeless until Zoe Edwards, Animal Welfare Manager, walked into the Broadway Homeless Day Centre and met him.
Zoe paid regular visits to Wully’s squat over a number of years where she fed his dog and five pups. She provided a range of preventative health treatments such as flea and worm treatments and microchipping. She also convinced Wully to get his dogs neutered and put his Staffies into Pet Refuge whilst he sought help for his problems.
Wully said: “I’d been drinking since I was young and I really wanted to get clean. I had mental health issues and alcohol problems and badly needed help. I wouldn’t have been able to go to rehab if Zoe hadn’t taken my dogs into The Mayhew. It was a huge weight off my mind knowing they were safe and being looked after.
“Zoe is the salt of the earth and helped me get my act together. I really believe I would have ended up dead without her.”
Zoe added: “We kept up our visits with Wully over the years providing support to him and his dogs. He finally agreed to let us help him by putting his dogs into Pet Refuge whilst he went into detox and rehab on two separate occasions to overcome his drug and alcohol addictions. He was successful and has now been clean for a few years.
“I went to see him recently as he is one of my ongoing welfare cases and he gave me £100 that he had raised for The Mayhew last year, which was so good of him. I am extremely proud of Wully, he is a lovely kind man and it was a privilege to help him and his two lovely Staffies.
Wully has been clean for over three years and now works as a health care advocate for the homeless. He lives in West London with Alice and Asbo. Find out more about our team of Animal Welfare Officers and their work in London and our innovative Pet Refuge Scheme that helps people who are in a personal crisis. You can also make a donation to help our Animal Welfare Officers rescue and help more neglected and abandoned animals every day.
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