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Give a Dog a Bone… and an animal a home’ is a small, unique and award-winning charity that helps the over 60’s find a rescue pet companion, tackling both loneliness in our ageing years and the rising numbers of animal homelessness.
The charity was founded by a working mum, Louise Russell, in 2013 and in the two years after it was formed, helped over 100+ animals – and their owners – find a brighter future together.
In 2015, Louise won the prestigious Point of Light Award from Prime Minister, David Cameron, which recognises outstanding individual volunteers – people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others.
Louise runs the charity in her spare time on an entirely voluntary basis, supported by a very small team of dedicated volunteers who assist with fundraising events and marketing.
The story so far…
Recent statistics published by Age UK highlight a concern that older people can regularly go up to one month without speaking to anyone.
As so many elderly individuals live alone, a pet can be an important source of company and affection. They also provide routine, encourage exercise and can give someone a sense of purpose.
Did You Know?
5 million people aged 65+ live alone in the UK.
(Almost 36% of all people aged 65+)
Source: age UK, Jan 2016
102,363 dogs were handled by UK Council Shelters in one year.
(1st April 2014 – 31st March 2015)
1 dog every 2 hours was put to sleep by UK Local Authorities during this time.
Source: Stray Dog Survey for Dogs Trust.
So, how do we help?
If finances are a barrier to adopting a pet companion, we can:
- Pay the re-homing fee of a rescue dog.
- Continue to support on a monthly basis, by paying for associated pet food costs.
We also support those in the same age group who already have a pet companion but are now struggling to afford them, by providing them with similar financial assistance.
We are constantly helping to support shelters by linking them up with prospective new owners and homes for their animals.
Additionally, when the charity has been asked for special support we have provided additional help:
- Supporting terminally ill individuals to find emergency foster care for their animals or full time, forever homes for those who can no longer cope – bringing great peace of mind to those at a troubled time of life.
- Finding volunteer dog walkers for the elderly recovering from operations.
- Helping with emergency vet bills.
- Providing other rescue operations with financial support for specific animals who have been abused or have special needs.
- Funding a disabled dog to find a home with a disabled lady.
“Chico truly is a wee gem – he’s doing me so much good! Can’t tell you how he has lifted my mood. My energy and I’m just smiling lots more!
I don’t feel the house so quiet or lonely…”
Josephine, 65-year-old lady helped by Give A Dog A Bone.
“Each time we commit to supporting an animal with the cost of pet food each month, we commit to thousands of pounds per animal over their life time.”
Louise Russell, Charity Founder.
“Number 10 Honors Mum Who Bridges Loneliness Gap”
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“The companionship a dog gives can make an invaluable difference to an older person’s life. With Give a Dog a Bone, Louise is helping both people and animals find the love and companionship they need. She has already brightened the lives of dozens of people by finding and helping them to care for a rescue dog they wouldn’t otherwise have been able to take in, and to those people she truly is a Point of Light.”
Dogs Monthly Magazine