An­i­mal Res­cue with Mar­ion Gar­nett

Ded­i­cated an­i­mal ex­pert Mar­ion Gar­nett, founder of the Eal­ing An­i­mal Wel­fare Bazaar, con­tin­ues her col­umn

Harefield Gazette - - ANIMAL NEWS -

IT was a cold and frosty morn­ing when The May­hew An­i­mal Home’s van swung round the cor­ner only to come face to face with a young­ster wear­ing a grey hoodie pulled tightly over his head look­ing at them in­tently.

This gen­tle boy was just one of the dogs The May­hew was due to ex­am­ine in their an­nual visit to the Cri­sis at Christ­mas Dog Ser­vice.

This ser­vice, run by the char­ity Cri­sis, looks af­ter the dogs of rough sleep­ers while their own­ers stay for up to seven days/nights in the ad­ja­cent res­i­den­tial cen­tre. Sim­i­lar to last year, the Dogs Ser­vice area was more orig­i­nal than any­thing seen on Grand De­signs. Spe­cially con­structed round a bi­cy­cle shed, it’s like a cave/sta­ble/shed/shack.

But, mainly, it’s a shel­ter filled with love for the rough sleep­ers and their dogs.

Dur­ing their stay, the dogs’ own­ers ac­cess much needed ser­vices such as ad­vice, health­care, po­di­a­try (bad feet are a ma­jor prob­lem for rough sleep­ers) and the sewing team (not only bril­liant at re­pair­ing guests’ clothes but also dogs’ coats) and the dogs are cared for and cud­dled by vol­un­teers and checked over by the May­hew’s an­i­mal wel­fare team.

Af­ter the seven days are over, the shel­ter is taken down and, as it melts away, no-one would have known it ex­isted.

Then, if no al­ter­na­tive ac­com­mo­da­tion has been found, it’s back on the streets for the dogs and their own­ers. That’s where StreetLink is im­por­tant. This is a gov­ern­ment funded ini­tia­tive aimed at end­ing rough sleep­ing.

If you see a rough sleeper you are wor­ried about, in­clud­ing with a dog, then you can phone StreetLink on 0300 500 0914 or email them via streetlink.org.uk and they will aim to con­nect that per­son to lo­cal ser­vices.

It’s not only dogs with rough sleep­ing own­ers who The May­hew look af­ter but also cats sleep­ing rough be­cause they have no owner.

That’s how Cirko came into The May­hew’s care. Like the dog in the hoodie, Cirko’s young with lots of char­ac­ter. He was found as a stray on Lon­don’s streets and is now wait­ing at The May­hew for a home.

He can be a bit shy of strangers but once he gets to know you, he is friendly and comes and sits next to you to be stroked.

If you would like to home Cirko, you can meet him at The May­hew, Tren­mar Gar­dens NW10 6BJ or call 020 8962 8000.

SHY: Cirko is look­ing for a new home

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