A scheme created by animal welfare charity Mayhew has helped keep Nayan and his 12-year-old Staffie cross, Fearne, together through a critical time.

The Mayhew’s Pet Refuge scheme has helped keep pets and their owners together for the last 14 years and provides support for vulnerable pet owners facing personal crisis including hospitalisation, rehab, detox for alcohol and drug addiction, or even those sent to prison.

Mayhew Animal Welfare Officers help by providing care and finding accommodation for the pet throughout the duration of the crisis period. They also receive essential veterinary care from Mayhew’s on-site Community Vet Clinic including neutering and vaccinations. 

Fearne was cared for through the Pet Refuge scheme

For Nayan, who has recurring health issues, it was a vital service to help look after his beloved dog. Nayan explains, “I live with a disability that keeps me at home a lot of the time, so adopting Fearne from Mayhew just over three years ago helped me at a really crucial time of my life. I tell people that we rescued each other. She gets me up in the mornings and out the door when probably not much else would.

After adopting Fearne from Mayhew, I’ve followed the charity ever since and that’s how I first heard about Pet Refuge. At a time where my health was particularly bad, I was getting to a point where I was struggling to get out of the house, even to give Fearne walks or the love and attention that she needs, so I really needed some help. The Pet Refuge programme sounded ideal and after speaking with the Animal Welfare Officers, they offered to look after Fearne for six weeks, which was the perfect amount of time to give me a break and a chance to get my health back to where it needed to be.

While Fearne was with Mayhew, I was really pleased that they gave her such great care and treatment, she even had a dental procedure, which is something that she had needed for a while.

Nayan and Fearne

“After six very long weeks being reunited with Fearne was incredible, I don’t know who was more excited. It was very special for many reasons, for me, my health was so much better, so I had more energy to enjoy the reunion.

Mayhew’s Pet Refuge programme has been a real lifeline for me. It was brilliant that they were able to look after Fearne at such a crucial time. I hate to think what I would have had to do without it. The thought of giving up Fearne completely is horrible because we are both so happy together.”


Mayhew’s Animal Welfare Officer, Tania Mazzoni, added, “It is extremely clear to see that Nayan and Fearne have this incredible bond. They would be lost without each other and that’s why it is so important that we were able to help during this crisis period and fundamentally keep them together.”

For many vulnerable people, their pet is their best friend. Mayhew’s Head of Animal Welfare, Zoe Edwards, said, “In this job you deal with a lot of situations where the owner is going through a hard time and just needs some support and advice to help them with their animal.

Mayhew’s Vet Dr Emily Richardson at our on site Community Vet Clinic

We are often referred to as ‘Animal Social Workers’ because we are able to help and support vulnerable people in need with their animals – and ultimately keep the owner and animal together.

Mayhew aims to be proactive and innovative, working to help animals and their carers by running outreach community initiatives such as our Pet Refuge programme.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here