As part of Together for Animals member Mayhew’s community support, they run a Pet Refuge programme to help vulnerable people and their pets. This was set up in 2004 to help owners who have no other option of help to care for their animal at crisis points in their life. Mayhew provides shelter and care for their pet for short periods of time so that they can get better while their pet is being cared for in a safe environment.
Mayhew offer Pet Refuge for many different reasons, it could be due to an owner going into hospital, or needing to go into rehab or have respite care. They ensure that their animal receives the best possible care, reuniting them once the owner is back on their feet.
Jose is the vulnerable owner of beloved dog Bob. Last year, Jose required hospital treatment for an infected wound in his leg. He was suffering from localised sepsis, but was reluctant to accept help as it would have meant having to abandon Bob – he didn’t know anyone who could pet sit, and he didn’t want to leave Bob all alone.
“Bob is my best friend. He gives me someone to talk to and he’s stuck to me through everything. He stays by my side day and night and having him is the best thing in the world, but it makes it hard for me to go to the doctors and things like that as I never want to leave him alone.” Jose, Bob’s owner
Luckily, Jose’s social worker heard about the Pet Refuge programme, and got in touch with Mayhew’s Animal Welfare Officers to see if they could help whilst Jose was in the hospital. While Jose received treatment for his leg we arranged for Bob to come the Community Vet Clinic where he was neutered and given a full health check with vaccinations and flea and worm treatment. Bob was then passed into the care of our Kennel team who looked after him for the duration of his stay.
When Jose was fully recovered, Mayhew were able to reunite the two best friends. Jose was delighted to have his dog back and Bob was clearly overjoyed to see his owner again.
For many people facing a personal crisis, our service is a lifeline. Their dog is their best friend and in times of crisis they will not seek help as they are concerned about what will happen to their pet. With Pet Refuge, their pet is looked after so they are then given the time they need to get themselves back on track.
“I know Bob was safe at Mayhew and that made me feel better too. It’s good to know they are there when I need help. I love Bob and don’t ever want to leave him. Having Mayhew there for him really takes all my stress away. I know Bob can stay with me for life now and I won’t have to give him up. And we can both get the help we need.”