All this week is Double Donations Week here at the NAWT as we look to raise funds for an exciting new project in 2022.  The Pet Care in the Community project will see us coordinating volunteer-led support for pet owners needing some help caring for their beloved companion at home; preventing the need for them to relinquish their pet to us for rehoming.

We think there is a real need for such a service (and many of you agreed in our survey earlier this year) which will aim to offer practical help with things like dog walking or cat litter tray cleaning for the elderly and in need.

One story that highlights the need for this service is that of Yvonne and her dog Autumn.

When Yvonne broke her ankle in her garden earlier this year, one of her biggest worries was wondering who would help her walk her beloved Labradoodle, Autumn.

“It’s just me and Autumn at home and she’s my complete rock. One of my main worries first as I was lying there in the ambulance was wondering who was going to look after Autumn while I was kept in. Fortunately, my neighbours immediately offered to help.”

The neighbour in question is NAWT supporter Wendy who has two dogs of her own, one of them rehomed from NAWT.

“It all happened so fast but there was no question about having Autumn to stay. She knows our two dogs well and it seemed the next best thing to do. During that time, I would take Autumn round to Yvonne’s house to feed her at mealtimes so at least she could see Yvonne wasn’t there but also make her feel more comfortable being in familiar surroundings.” 

As soon as Yvonne was released from hospital a few weeks later, Autumn went back to her home and Wendy continued to take Autumn out for walks while Yvonne began her slow recovery.

After a little while, when Wendy’s availability changed, Yvonne needed to find more people to take Autumn on her daily walks. Fortunately, another neighbour came forward to help along with a friend and Yvonne was able to set up a rota for all three helpers to ensure Autumn was able to carry on her walks.

A few months down the line and Yvonne has started walking unaided but she still relies on volunteers to take Autumn for longer walks.  Yvonne is fortunate to have had people help her during this time of need but thinks a scheme like Petcare in the Community could be really helpful.

She said: “I was very lucky to have so much support, but I could imagine there are hundreds of people who might find themselves in a predicament like mine and with no help around. There are lot of people who love having a pet for company but need support so this could really help.”

Launching such a scheme as Pet Care in the Community will be a huge undertaking for us here at the NAWT and that’s why we are looking to raise the necessary funds to allow us to begin trialing the service in 2022.

If you are able to donate this week, your donation will count double to us!

Thanks to our generous supporters and a pledge promise from PetPlan Charitable Trust, we have a total Pledge Pot of £25,000. You can help us unlock this pot by donating in Double Donations Week (30th Nov – 6th Dec) so that we can raise the £50,000 to launch this exciting new project in 2022.

For example, if you donate £10 today it will unlock £10 from the Pledge Pot and be worth £20 to us at no extra cost to yourself. 

We really appreciate all that our supporters and communities do for us and our centres and we thank you once more for your kindness in donating to help launch our Pet Care in the Community project.