Fulham dog owner shines light on desperate pet owners in crisis as charity launches new awareness campaign

Mayhew launches a new campaign to raises awareness for their Pet Refuge scheme which provides temporary shelter for pets of people facing a crisis.

When 72-year-old Robert Ely from Fulham was told by doctors in December 2021 that he could finally have a date for hip replacement surgery, his main concern wasn’t so much the procedure he had long awaited, but rather who would look after his beloved companion and best friend, West Highland White Terrier, Tiger.

After having endured over three years of considerable pain and discomfort and an increased reliance on a cane to walk, Robert was concerned about losing Tiger his trusted companion.

As Robert had no family members or close friends nearby to call upon for help, it was only when a local pet shop in Fulham suggested he contact Mayhew to see if they could help, that the tide turned, and his things changed for the better.

As Robert explains, “My first call with Mayhew was like a ton of bricks being lifted off my shoulders. I would have felt very alone, and even a little scared, if I wasn’t aware of Pet Refuge and the help it provides for pet owners in crisis. Mayhew’s new campaign to drive awareness for Pet Refuge will really highlight the how vital this service is for so many pet owners, just like me, across London.”

On 9th December 2021, Tiger was collected from Robert’s home by staff from Mayhew and after initially spending 11 days here, was then placed with one of the charity’s carefully assessed and trusted volunteer foster carers, who gave him a loving, temporary home-from-home experience at their house in North West London.

Tiger returned home to Robert following his operation and recuperation, on 18th February 2022.

New Pet Refuge campaign looks at care from the pets’ perspective

Now, a new digital marketing campaign with the strapline ‘There When Owners Need Care,’ and targeted at London pet owners who desperately need help in a crisis, aims to improve public awareness for the urgent need for temporary care and shelter for the pets of people facing a crisis, whether that be an ongoing issue or an unexpected emergency. The campaign is scheduled for launch by Mayhew on 12 July, and can be seen at themayhew.org/PetRefuge

Mayhew understands the powerful connection between animals and people, and our focus is about keeping pets and owners together. The new campaign concept illustrates the intimate and reciprocal bond between pets and their owners and demonstrates exactly why it is so important that Mayhew is there to prevent any unnecessary separation and avoid this bond being broken.

Acclaimed actors, including Ben Miles, a familiar face on stage and screen and himself a Mayhew supporter, Emily Raymond, and Jos Vantyler, feature as voiceovers of pets rating their experience of Pet Refuge in his original new campaign.

As Howard Bridges, Interim CEO, Mayhew, explains, “Robert and Tiger’s story really shines a light on the worrying lack of pet boarding programmes or support for pet owners in crisis and when they most need help. If people don’t know about services like Pet Refuge, there is no knowing what steps they might take that could potentially put their own health, and that of their pet, at risk.”

He continues, “It is especially important, particularly in this challenging economic climate, that older pet owners with limited financial resources know there is help available for them. Services like our Pet Refuge programme really can be life changing, as pet owners like Robert, can attest. We hope our new campaign will help to shine a light on the service and ensure desperate owners know they have somewhere to turn.”

Please click here to see Tiger’s Pet Refuge story on YouTube.