London-based animal welfare charity, Mayhew has launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the bond between vulnerable people and their pets.
Over the past decade, Mayhew has offered support and shelter to over 10,000 people and animals experiencing an unexpected or ongoing crisis, through community based initiatives such as Pet Refuge.
In partnership with McCann Demand, Mayhew has created a series of powerful and impactful poems designed to illustrate the intimacy of animal companionship, and the harsh realities faced by people hit by a sudden or unforeseen change in circumstances, which threatens their relationship with their pet.
The poems are illustrated with a poignant single line drawing by renowned artist Dane Khy, and will appear across prominent London tube stations, where people will have the time to read and reflect on the animals or animal lovers in their own lives.
An accompanying animated video, developed in partnership with Coffee and TV and featuring an additional poem, will be shared across Mayhew’s website and social media channels from today (Monday 27 January).
The new campaign is being supported by TV presenter and journalist Louis Theroux and theatre actor Emily Raymond, who have each provided the voices of “The Owner” and “The Dog” in the animated video.
Louis Theroux said: “I was delighted to be asked to be the voice of the dog for the Mayhew’ campaign. It was a challenge for me as I’ve only ever done voiceover for myself. So this was a leap taking on the role of someone else, who also happened to be a non-human. But we can all relate to the emotions felt by the animals in this beautiful video: the need for comfort companionship, and quality of life. And the animation and writing in the film capture this perfectly.
“My fervent hope is that the campaign starts a much-needed conversation about the importance of protecting the bond between pets and pet owners from all walks of life. We all deserve to live a life, shared.”
Emily Raymond added: “I think that the ground-breaking work Mayhew do in the local community is truly inspiring. Helping homeless and vulnerable people to care for their dogs, and even look after them during periods of absence, its literally a lifeline for people in a crisis situation. They make sure that the human animal bond is nurtured and not broken – without judgement and with deep empathy. Mayhew fully understand the vital relationship between a vulnerable person and their pet and know that an animal is often the only trusted companion that a person has.
“It was therefore a privilege to give a voice to the beautiful and moving animation for this latest campaign – highlighting the shared lives that are made possible by the vital help and support that Mayhew provides to those in need.”
The heart-breaking reality of needles separation
A recent PFMA report suggests that 8% of all dogs that are relinquished to London-based rehoming shelters are given up against the owners will.
Similar surveys have investigated the reasons given by such owners and have found that, 12% of owners had suffered from ill health and were no longer able to look after their pet.
They also revealed that 10% had moved into new accommodation where pets were prohibited and 6% had experienced a relationship breakdown with a shared pet, and neither could manage the pet on their own.
Mayhew know from the past few decades of working within the local community that the overwhelming majority of pet owners will put their animal first no matter what, and in times of hardship, we understand that a beloved pet can offer unconditional love, and be a person’s only source of comfort and companionship.
Caroline Yates, CEO of Mayhew said: “Mayhew is one of the oldest animal welfare charities in London, working in a truly holistic and preventative way to improve life for the people and animals in our community.
“Through ‘A Life Shared’ we are aiming to bring people together and help people from all backgrounds relate and empathise with our mission, through the bond we all share with animals. The poems beautifully and intricately illustrate this intimate and reciprocal bond, and demonstrate exactly why it is so important that Mayhew are there to prevent any unnecessary separation and avoid this bond being broken.”
‘A Life Shared’ is just one of the many campaigns that Mayhew run that support initiatives enabling people and their pets to stay together for as long as possible, whilst preventing animals needing to be rehomed through no fault of their own.To find out more about Mayhew’s work you can visit www.themayhew.org.