Pet refuge scheme has been keeping pets and their owners together for 14 years

Since 2004, London – based animal welfare charity, Mayhew has been helping pet owners facing a personal crisis and with no option of help to care for their animal, through their vital pet refuge programme.

The initiative provides support for vulnerable pet owners facing a personal crisis including hospitalisation, rehab, detox for alcohol and rug addiction, or even those sent to prison.

Pet Refuge involves Mayhew’s Animal Welfare Officers ensuring that the animal receives the best possible care and is placed in a safe and comfortable environment for the duration of the crisis period.

For many people facing a personal crisis, Mayhew’s service is a lifeline. They also receive essential veterinary care from Mayhew’s on-site Community Vet Clinic, including neutering and vaccinations.

Mayhew’s head of animal welfare, Zoe Edwards, said: “In this job you deal with a lot of situations where the owner is going through a hard time and just needs some support and advice to help them with their animal.

“We are often referred to as ‘Animal Social Workers’ because we are able to help and support vulnerable people in need with their animals – and ultimately keep the owner and animal together.”

The initiative is able to help people like Nayan, who has recurring health issues, the pet refuge programme has helped him to look after his beloved 12-year old Staffie cross called Fearne.

Nayan says: “I live with a disability that keeps me at home a lot of the time, so adopting Fearne from Mayhew just over three years ago helped me at a really crucial time of my life. Mayhew’s Pet Refuge programme has been a real lifeline for me. It was brilliant that they were able to look after Fearne at such a crucial time. I hate to think what I would have had to do without it.”