London is full of unsung heroes who make a difference on a daily basis both to the capital’s canines and humans. We often don’t know that they’re doing it but they are. So this year, one of the things I’ll be doing on the blog is helping shine the spotlight on these wonderful people who help London’s hounds (and often humans).
First up is London Animal Welfare charity, Mayhew who help the dogs of London’s homeless each Christmas together with UK Charity Crisis. Crisis is well-known for the work they do to support the homeless year round but even more so at Christmas. Many homeless people spend their days and nights on the streets accompanied by their faithful four-legged companions, but often have to turn down an offer of a warm place to sleep at night because their dog is not welcome. Not at Christmas however, thanks to Crisis at Christmas and it’s 17-year partnership with Mayhew, who together make sure that neither human nor hound are left out in the cold.
How Mayhew Helps Dogs of The Homeless – Crisis at Christmas
Crisis at Christmas offers an invaluable service to London’s homeless by taking over some of London’s buildings to provide temporary shelter to those in need. Crisis at Christmas also offers a special service to dogs of London’s homeless during this time too, supported by the Mayhew. Dogs are able to have a warm place to sleep in specially built temporary kennels with each dog getting their own pen, comfy bedding and blankets. Mayhew volunteers are on-hand to help these by giving them an often much-needed check-up whilst their owners receive support from Crisis.
This year, Mayhew’s Vet, Dr Emma Robinson, and Animal Welfare Officers, AJ Ford and Tania Mazzoni, attended Crisis at Christmas. The team were able to make sure all the dogs were given a thorough health examination, flea and worming treatments as well as giving them food, treats and waterproof jackets.
Mayhew’s Vet, Dr Emma Robinson, added: “This is a great opportunity for the owners to make sure their dog undergoes a health check. We are able to identify and monitor ongoing health issues and we can also give the dogs the preventative veterinary care that they need. It’s been an amazing experience for me and I hope I can do it all again next year.”
Some of the canine visitors to this year’s Crisis at Christmas were repeat visitors, in fact nine-year old Survivor was actually born at Crisis at Christmas nine years ago.
For others such as Leo, a 15-week-old puppy it was a time for several firsts, as the Mayhew team were able to give him his first crucial vaccinations.
How Mayhew Helps Dogs of Those In Need – Pet Refuge Programme
Mayhew’s Animal Welfare Officer, AJ Ford, said: “We work with the homeless and their dogs all year round and we are honoured to help and support Crisis at Christmas again this year. We can detect early on any health issues that the dogs may have so that we can refer them to our on-site Vet Clinic and also offer free neutering and flea and worming treatments.”
Mayhew also run a Pet Refuge programme, which provides support for pet owners facing a personal crisis and with no option of help to care for their pet. This may be for a number of reasons including hospitalisation, rehab, detox for alcohol and drug addiction, or even those sent to prison. For many people, the Mayhew Pet Refuge service is truly a lifeline.
To find out more about how Mayhew helps dogs of the homeless or those in need, visit www.themayhew.org
If you’re interested in volunteering for Crisis at Christmas (I’ve done it and can highly recommend it), visit: https://www.crisis.org.uk/get-involved/christmas-volunteering-london/
Photos by Graham Hilling
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