Paws up if you’d like to do your bit to help charities who need support after lockdown AND have fun with your dog?
While the last two months have given us an opportunity to spend more time with our dogs, many charities are struggling.
Donations have fallen and many have seen a rise in demand for their services with increases in stress, but staff and resources are overstretched.
In a study by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, 37 per cent of the organisations that responded stated that if the current situation continues they won’t survive for more than six months.
A further 11 per cent said they were not expecting to go beyond the next ten weeks.
It’s a worrying time for small charities in particular but there are things that you and your dog can do to help.
I spoke to four inspiring ladies who are encouraging dog owners to do their bit to help.
In this post you can learn about their appeals and you can get involved.
Each initiative involves activities where you can have fun with your dog, and they simply ask for a small donation as a thank you.
Take your dog for a walk for Street Paws
Street Paws – Walk In Your Paws
The Walk In Your Paws Challenge is from Street Paws, a charity providing free veterinary care and kennel space for homeless people and those in crisis.
With us expected to enter a recession, an increase in homelessness is inevitable so their services are needed more so than ever.
Can you imaging losing your home and having to say goodbye to your pet? Only a small number of homeless shelters accept pets and that’s why owners have no choice but to sleep rough.
That’s where Street Paws comes in – they hold outreach sessions each month in towns and cities across the North of the England and in Ireland.
Volunteer vets and nurses carry out health checks, give flea and worming treatment and food to pets and are there as a lifeline for owners if pets fall ill.
To take part in the Walk In Your Paws challenge, simply go for a walk with your dog, take a photo, use the #WalkYourPawsChallenge and tag five friends on social media to challenge them to take part and make a small donation to StreetPaws.
Michelle Southern, founder of Street Paws, explains: “We’re asking supporters to complete a regular dog walk within the Government guidelines for daily exercise and social distancing.
“You can make a donation of £5 or any amount you wish, and £5 will feed a dog living with a homeless owner for a week.
“All you need to do is upload your photo with your dog to your social media once completed, and nominate five friends to take the challenge using #WalkYourPawsChallenge.
“Our dream is to be able to raise £1000 to provide dog food to vulnerable people and their pets during this crisis.”
Donations can be forwarded to the Charity via Street Paws Givey fundraising page: https://www.givey.com/streetpaws
Find out more about Street Paws at www.streetpaws.co.uk
Join in a virtual festival for StreetVet
Paawstival is an online festival in support of StreetVet
Paawstival has been organised in aid of StreetVet, a charity supporting homeless pet owners in London and across the South.
Set up in 2016 by vets Jade Statt and Sam Joseph, more than 600 volunteers help owners in 16 cities delivering health checks, vital treatment and essentials like food, toys, bowls and coats.
Paawstival was set up in support of their work by Gabby Kuehn who set up Paws Are Always Welcome (PAAW) following her own court battle over a landlord’s ‘no pets policy.’
Activities take place this Bank Holiday weekend and you can enjoy a fun packed schedule including games, stories, demos, talks, comedy, competitions and music.
There’s ways for your dog to virtually show off their pawsomeness including the Wall of Fame, Catch a Treat, Show your Talent, and win prizes.
As it’s Mental Health Awareness Week there will be discussions around the role pets play in providing comfort and companionship, plus a doggy disco and workout classes.
Gabby explained: “StreetVet have had to carefully consider the implications of COVID-19 for the people and pets who use their services, as well as their staff and volunteers. As with many charities,
“StreetVet rely heavily on fundraising from events as well as donations to carry out their work, we are delighted to able to support their efforts with this event.”
To make a donation, visit: https://www.gofundme.com/f/covid19-support-for-the-voiceless
For tickets and more information, visit https://paaw.house/paawstival-2020/
Learn tricks with your dog and support NHS charity appeals
Paws up for the NHS is a challenge by Barket Place
Each week we’ve been clapping our NHS heroes on a Thursday at 8pm and your dog can join in too with Paws Up for the NHS.
Caroline Wilkinson, a dog behaviourist and founder of Barket Place, came up with the idea because she wanted to support friends in the NHS but felt helpless.
She decided to set up a challenge where dog owners in her community could learn exciting ways to train their dogs in return for a small donation – as little as £1.
Dogs and their humans learn the tricks in a dedicated Facebook group and each dog who completes the challenge gets a certificate.
Caroline said: “While we’re loving the extra time we get to spend with our dogs – some of them are finding the change in routine quite difficult.
“I wanted to not only give these owners something to mentally stimulate and tire their dogs – but something that would bring a smile to their faces.
“Everyone is so thankful for all the NHS staff are doing at the moment so I thought I would combine fundraising and training!”
The five lockdown themed tricks to teach dogs are:
Wave: Just as we wave to our friends at a distance!
Look behind you: Essential to make sure we’re two metres apart from people outside of our household
Wipe your paws: A doggy version of washing hands
Walk on my feet: A reminder to stay close together so while we’re out, other people can pass by safely
Send to bed: Dogs need sleep and with the whole family home in lockdown, it’s essential they still have their naps
Owners are urged to show off what their dogs have learned on social media, using the hashtag #pawsupforthenhs and already Caroline has raised over £700.
All the donations will go to NHS Charities Together and you can contribute on Caroline’s JustGiving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/pawsupforthenhs
For more information on Caroline go to https://barketplace.uk/paws-up-for-the-nhs-challenge/
Adele Pember and her dog Charlie inspired over £6500 of donations
Take part in a virtual charity dog show
Adele Pember from Dog Furiendly hosted Bark Aid
This event has passed but I wanted to include it as it’s taking place again next year and also to say a huge well done to Adele who raised a massive £6455.
She organised a virtual dog show to help a range of causes and small charities who really need support.
With 20 categories in total including ‘Fabulous Fella’, ‘Gorgeous Girl’, Golden Oldie and people donating £1.50 she was able to raise thousands for good causes.
Adele said: “One of the charities we supported was When you Wish Upon a Star, a children’s charity granting wishes.
“One of the children, Amy, had the wish of going to Crufts 2020 with her Schnauzer Reggie, but this was cancelled due to her being ‘at risk’ so we invited her to be a judge for Bark Aid.
“When we shared Amy’s story we had a large number of dog related businesses donate gifts, so now Amy has a hamper to rival any haul at Crufts heading her way.
“While it’s easy to feel powerless in such an unprecedented situation, we can and should take comfort in our dogs.
“The response from followers and people in the pet industry was just fantastic and from start to finish, the campaign had so much heart. We can’t wait for next year.”
The charities are National Emergencies Trust, Age UK, British Red Cross, Wetnose Animal Aid, Broken Biscuits, StreetVet, City Hospice, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, When You Wish Upon a Star, The Trussell Trust, Serve On K9 Team, Dogs for Good, Mind, Carers UK, Blue Cross, Samaritans, International Aid for the Protection and Welfare of Animals (IAPWA), The Cinnamon Trust, Hope Rescue, Give a Dog a Bone and DOTS Dogs on the Street.
Adele’s next project is supporting Dog Friendly hospitality businesses get bark to work
Adele is also putting on a Bark to Business campaign for people with businesses in the pet, hospitality and leisure industry with expert talks and Q and A sessions.
Find out more at https://dogfuriendly.com/