I have written about Mayhew before and supported their work throughout the years, but this Tuesday we were exposed to first hand experiences of how amazing their work truly is. I am amazed and humbled by their work and vision. Let me tell you more…
Mayhew has partnered with internationally acclaimed production company Iconoclast to challenge public perceptions of homelessness and animal welfare. We were invited to see the first screenings of a new documentary series “Home Is Where Their Dog Is” following the lives of three homeless men and their dogs which give a true and emotional insight into the unique and supportive bond they share.
You might have heard it too, some people will imply that some homeless people may get a dog to assist with their begging. Some of us will also believe that those who can’t support themselves financially but own a pet are irresponsible. When actually, 80% of homeless people with dogs are pets from previous life setups. This bond and friendship can sometimes be all they have left. Can you imagine losing everything, and then losing your best friend too? We are in the grips of a growing homelessness crisis.
All of us who are lucky enough to share our lives with dogs (or cats) know how important that bond is to us, and to them. Many rehab centres and shelters just cannot accommodate dogs and this can sometimes be a stumbling block to the recovery and rehabilitation of somebody living on the streets. Homeless people will turn down rehab opportunities, medical care and housing offers because they are worried about what would happen to their animals. Think, what would you do? How would you feel? This is where the incredible Mayhew comes in.
They have been a lifeline for homeless people and animals since 2000. They understand their commitment, the care and love they provide for each other is vital; and work tirelessly to protect this bond so that the animals and loving owners can stay together.
Through their sensational Animal Welfare Officers (some real life heroes who I was so happy to see again today), Mayhew is able to build close and trusting relationships with homeless people and their dogs, and work to secure foster care to look after animals whilst their owners get back on their feet or undertake necessary treatment. Their on-site vet clinic provides free general health check and preventative veterinary care including neutering and flea & worm treatments, as well as providing collars, tags. jackets, leads, poo bags and food to keep the dogs healthy, clean, safe and warm.
I was very keen to share Mayhew’s new formidable videos with you (below). The ever evolving challenges in our society and how animals can play a significant part in helping to address these issues must be talked about. Mayhew’s focus within the animal welfare sector is on helping prevent animal ending up in the shelter environment - especially when they have a loving owner who is just in need of someone to lend a helping hand. They look at the reasons why they are in a crisis and take steps to prevent it.
Love vs addiction
Wully and Azzy were homeless when Wully needed to go to rehab. Luckily Mayhew was able to step in and help. Watch their fight for love over addiction.
The breath of life
Shaun only has 16% lung capacity and his dog Toffee is his lifeline. Watch how Toffee saves Shaun's life on a daily basis.
The fight of their lives
Gulbar's best friend was involved in a hit and run. He called Mayhew for urgent help. Watch the fight of their lives.
By Showing the life-saving emotional support and impact the dogs have on a homeless person’s physical and mental well-being, Mayhew wants “Home Is Where Their Dog Is” to inspire support and empathy from the public, and ultimately change the way homeless people and their four-legged companions are viewed.
By helping animals, we are helping people
“What can we do to help?” I hear you say. Donate? Yes please, donating is great (we will put a link further down); BUT crucially, we can do something much greater - change our preconceptions. It’s too easy to just walk by, so you can stop and talk, ask questions, offer compassion, and of course spread the word of the work that Mayhew and other Homeless Charities do. By helping their animals, we together can help them. Please lets share these videos far and wide and tell their stories.
Also, check this old blog to see what else Mayhew is doing, because this is just the tip of the iceberg.
You can also support Mayhew with our Beautiful Joe’s Treats,
For every packet sold by us, one gets donated to Mayhew:
Beautiful Joes Treats