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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 to afford a rescue pet companion – tackling loneliness for older adults through animal companionship and friendship.
The charity was founded by Louise Russell in November 2013.
Since then the charity has helped thousands of older adults and their animal companions to have a happier and more engaged existence together.
Louise’s work has not gone unnoticed. In 2015, she was awarded the Prime Minister’s Point of Light Award and in October 2016, she won the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s ‘Community Award’ for her work bringing rescue animals and the over 60s together! In fact, we’ve won several awards which you can find listed here.
As we enter into our 8th financial year, we have big plans around the charity, it’s growth and how we can reach more people, and rescue animals, who need our help!!
The story so far…
Statistics published by Age UK highlight a concern that older people can regularly go up to one month without speaking to anyone and many older people report often experience feeling lonely.
As so many older adults 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?
3.8 million people aged 65+ live alone in the UK.
(Almost one third of all people aged 65+)
Source: age UK, Apr 2021
69,621 dogs were handled by UK Council Shelters in one year. This was an increase of 13,358 on the previous year.
(1st April 2018 – 31st March 2019)
1 dog every 2 hours was put to sleep by UK Local Authorities during this time.
Source: Stray Dog Survey for Dogs Trust 2019.
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, we have three community spaces across Scotland where we tackle loneliness and isolation for older adults by providing a safe space for retired people to make new friends, learn new skills and mix with dogs.
“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