As well as helping the homeless and their dogs throughout the year working with a number of homeless charities in London, The Mayhew Animal Home also attends the annual Crisis at Christmas to give homeless peoples’ dogs a thorough health check and preventative veterinary care.
This year Vet, Dr. Emily Richardson BSC MRCVS and Animal Welfare Officers, AJ and Paul, attended the Crisis at Christmas Dog Service.
The dogs are brought by their owners to a specially built temporary dog shed over the Christmas period. Each dog has their own pen and plenty of comfortable bedding, quilts and blankets where they can spend the time being supervised and cared for by volunteers while their owners receive help and support from Crisis.
While the work is carried out over the Christmas period, the charity prepare for it in advance. Mayhew Animal Welfare Officer, Alisa Ford, explains, “We work with the homeless and their dogs all year round. We build long-term relationships with the dogs’ owners so that the owners can call the Animal Welfare Officers directly whenever in need. We can detect early on any health issues that the dogs may have so that we can refer them to our on-site Vet Clinic. We offer free neutering and health checks as well as a microchip scan to make sure their chip details are up-to-date. We also offer behavioural advice and provide food, lighted collars that are visible at night, warm waterproof jackets, worming tablets and flea treatments.”
Dr. Emily gave all of the dogs a thorough health examination to ensure they were in good physical health. All dogs were also given flea and worming treatments. They were provided with food and supplies to see them through the winter along with lighted collars to make them visible at night, waterproof jackets, warm fleece jumpers and leads.
This has been Emily’s first year at Crisis at Christmas. She said,“This is an ideal opportunity for the owners to have their dogs undergo a health check with a vet, especially elderly dogs who haven’t received regular veterinary attention. We are able to identify and monitor ongoing health issues and we can also give the dogs the preventative veterinary care that is really important to maintain their health.
“The Crisis volunteers are caring for and walking the dogs as well as communicating with and supporting their owners. It’s been an amazing experience for me and I hope I can do it all again next year.”
One of the dogs seen by the team was 16-year-old Brandi. Her owner, Paul, has had Brandi since she was a puppy. Blood samples were taken to check her general health, liver and kidneys at The Mayhew Vet Clinic. One-year-old Benny was given a thorough health and dental check and preventative veterinary care as were 15-year-old Mitzi and 12-year-old Mac who belong to Louise. Misty, Smudge and Jimmy were also given a health check and preventative treatment.