I was lucky enough to be invited by The Mayhew Animal Home to visit their Centre in London a few weeks ago (and of course I answered with a very emphatic YES PLEASE!!) I had heard about them but wanted to know more!! Ted had the pleasure of staying with my mum for the day, along with her dog (also a miniature dachshund, named Millie – who’s often featured on my Instagram along with Ted if you haven’t checked it out!) So with dog sitting duties addressed, I popped in my car and headed into London town to get the lowdown about yet another amazing charity. Come and hear about what I saw, who I met and a snapshot of just some of the incredible work they do.
A HIDDEN GEM
Hidden along a very quiet residential side street in London (in fact I thought my dodgy SatNav had struck again & I’d ended up in the wrong place) there, tucked away from the hustle and bustle, was a white building with The Mayhew logo and several veterinary ambulances parked outside. The first thing that struck me was how quiet everything was. As with any animal shelter, the sound of barking is never too far away, but at The Mayhew it was quiet (we’ll look closely at why in just a minute!) I entered and was greeted by one of their volunteers on reception (whilst there are full time members of staff, The Mayhew relies heavily on their dedicated volunteers and are always on the look out for more. If this could be you, then take a look HERE!!
I was then introduced to the lovely Luke Berman who was kind enough to tell me all about the home and show me around too. We sat in the bright reception initially and chatted away about the Home in general (established in 1886 and did you know it was even part of The RSPCA for 60 years?) The Mayhew was even nearly closed due to the high costs which come with running such a charity, but due to the dedicated members of The Mayhew, it became independent and continues running (much to the relief of dogs and cats who benefit from their work).
GETTING IN THE KNOW
We then started our walk around the Home and dotted along the walls were numerous posters and facts. One that struck a particular chord was the one attached, about the number of dogs which can be produced by just one dog and a litter of puppies over a 6 year period – 67,000!!!! This is a staggering figure, I’m sure you’ll agree, and this is why The Mayhew have a strict policy of neutering any animal which comes into their care before they are rehomed. With figures like that, I can certainly see why and strongly commend them for taking a firm stance on this.
Another of the posters showed just some of the work The Mayhew do to help dogs and cats in need. For a charity that survives with no government funding and relies on 100% donations, it’s very impressive seeing the work they do, this includes:
1. Pet Refuge – The Home helps to care for animals while their owners are in hospital / rehabilitation centres until such times that they’re able to care for their pet.
2. Animal Welfare Officers – The Home works in conjunction with government and non government agencies to assist with animals which require care / rehoming, as well as challenging poor ownership
3. Phobias – The Home can help work with those who have phobias of dogs and help them overcome this.
One initiative which isn’t mentioned is the incredible TheraPaws, which Luke oversees. I have been privileged enough to be invited back to see how this scheme works firsthand and will be writing a special blog post over the coming months (which hopefully you’ll come and read!) I won’t go into detail now, but essentially the scheme enables dogs from the Home (as well as those owned by volunteers) to visit hospitals and hospices across London, as it is proven dogs can assist people including palliative care patients or those suffering from dementia. I’m really excited to help showcase this scheme but in the meantime, let’s gets back to my visit of the Home!!
CAREFULLY CREATED SURROUNDINGS
We were getting closer to the dedicated dog kennels, home to either abandoned, rescued or surrendered dogs. Before we reached it, I was shown the special sensory garden which had been created for the dogs. Whilst the area is small, the garden has been cleverly crafted with grass, wood chips, plants and flowers dotted around to give the dogs lots of sniffing opportunities (that is if they’re not being walked by a volunteer or even inside the large exercise area, so they’re not cooped up in one place all day!) Believe me, my poor photography doesn’t do this space justice!!
We then walked to the kennels, something I was personally dreading. Not that I doubted they would be good, but because I imagined big, sad eyes peering through metal bars. I couldn’t have been more wrong!!! There I was greeted with something like a mini home environment; soft furnishings, bright colours, individual heating, televisions and even books ready to be read to the dogs by volunteers. I actually felt quite overwhelmed by how beautiful The Mayhew made it. The kennels themselves had been carefully designed to minimise noise and essentially stress to the dogs (which is why it was so quiet when I arrived; now it made sense!!)
There is so much The Mayhew Animal Home do for dogs (and cats!!) and whilst this post shows some of it, I would really urge you to check out their website to read even more. You can do so HERE. They even have a veterinary clinic on site! The Mayhew have many dogs looking to be rehomed (and even more cats), so if you think you could provide a loving home, The Mayhew would be a good place to start! You can take a look HERE!
In the meantime, all I can say is a huge Thank You to The Mayhew for welcoming me and WELL DONE for creating such a special home for these animals (the cat area is just as impressive by the way, if not more so, but don’t let the dogs hear that!) The area they’re working with at the Home maybe small (the joys of limited space in London!) but they have really maximised this and made such a beautiful environment. It would be amazing if other Homes were able to follow suit and create such an inspirational environment. I’ll leave Ted and Millie with their own feedback below and as mentioned earlier, don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss out on my special Therapaws visit too!
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