Month: April 2020

PPCT donates £150,000 to ADCH Coronavirus Emergency Fund

tabby cat and puppy snuggle together

Petplan Charitable Trust has donated £150,000 to the Association of Dogs and Cats Homes (ADHC)  Coronavirus Emergency Fund.

ADCH logoThe ADCH fund has been set up in response to the emerging animal welfare crisis. Applications are invited from charities whose work has been directly affected by the current situation, where rescue and rehoming of dogs and cats is their major focus.

“From the outset of lockdown, it was evident that the dog and cat rescue sector was going to suffer badly,” says the Trust’s Chairman, David Simpson. “Not just from a loss of income but also, critically, from an absence of volunteers who are so integral to the amazing work these charities do.

“It was clear that it required a centralised initiative. The Petplan Charitable Trust was delighted to work alongside the ADCH in helping to set up its Coronavirus Emergency Fund and immediately made a contribution of £150,000.”

David Simpson is jointly chairing the Grant Allocation Committee alongside ADCH Chair and CEO of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, Claire Horton.

According to Horton, wide-scale pet abandonment could be one big consequence of the coronavirus pandemic if owners struggle to care for their pets financially or can’t cope with them after lockdown.

Is your charity eligible for an ADCH grant? Click here to find out more

“ADCH is extremely grateful to the Petplan Charitable Trust for its extraordinary generosity, in contributing so significantly to our Emergency Fund,” says Horton.  “This money is needed now more than ever before, as so many rescues are facing financial crisis. All organisations in our sector are predicting a significant loss of income during both 2020 and running well into 2021, as their ability to fundraise, keep the charity shops running and open their shelters to the public have all been severely curtailed.

“The Petplan Charitable Trust has been a long-standing supporter of the rescue and rehoming sector for many years and has donated monies to all manner of important sector projects and organisations both large and small. This support has enabled a great many rescues to continue providing high levels of care to their animals, improve their facilities and to carry out vital work in their local communities that have benefited so many people as well as animals.”

The funds will provide one-off grants of up to £10,000 to cover activities directly affected by coronavirus. Grants will be prioritised for organisations with an annual turnover of £500,000 or less and will help support the cost of food, bedding, cleaning equipment and transportation of animals, as well as additional staff costs as a result of staff and volunteers not being able to attend the rescue or shelter.


Read more news stories, here

Learn more about the charities we help, here

Can we really sense our pets’ needs?

golden retriever nose

The Chinese sage Lao Tzu said the wisest people are present to whatever the moment brings.

Our animal companions seem to “live in the moment” naturally. For example, when we sit down to rest on a sunny day with our dog or horse – or, sometimes, our cat – we may all have our eyes half-closed. But if you sneak a glance at your dog, his or her nostrils are often all a-quiver and his ears too.

Dogs’ ears are one indicator of their mood and can move independent of each other. Cats’ ears can also move independently: often when a cat seems to be snoozing you’ll see an ear rotate like a funnel, to catch some sound that we may not hear ourselves. It’s fun to watch! Horses’ ears are like that too. And, of course, mules’ and donkeys’…

mule listening with head cockedMost people find that being relaxed but attentive is pleasurable. Our pets also seem to enjoy being in this state. Down the road, their ability to enjoy the world around them may help us recognise whether they still have `a life worth living’.

Making that judgment for someone else is a huge responsibility that we can easily get wrong. (It’s why doctors and lawyers encourage each of us to make our own advanced care plans and appoint a Power of Attorney. If we don’t, we may find ourselves stuck with care that others think we want but we do not, and we won’t be able to tell them…)

We all want to do the right thing for our pets

We all want to do the right thing for our pets and we use terms like quality of life, best interests, suffering. They are important and useful ideas. They can also mean different things to different people. Also, the best of us can be biased or blinded by our other work or ideas. The animal welfare scholar and ethicist Professor Bernard Rollin described his regrets when he realised he had not noticed the first signs that his beloved dog had reached a point of no return.

Having “blind spots” and biases are potential pitfalls of our quick-thinking, human brains. But our brains can be such a help too. We can ponder our pets’ final days well before times of necessary decisions arrive. We can work out what to watch out for, and how to double-check. We can see how we feel about different general care-plans. We can question our assumptions. Always, we can exercise compassion for ourselves—and for our critters.

The next few posts will suggest some things to ponder, starting with the questions: Who decides about our pets’ life and death, and how?

Over to you. We can’t advise on individual cases, but we’d like to hear from you on our Facebook page. You can also follow us on Instagram.

Caroline Hewson


Author: Caroline Hewson MRCVS
Caroline Hewson is a vet and has a PhD in animal behaviour. She writes and gives talks that translate research relevant to pets’ end of life into points to keep in mind. 


Read more posts from The Pet Loss Blog

If you are facing the loss of a pet companion, or are recently bereaved, you may find this resource useful.

PPCT grant keeps the wheels turning at Freshfields Animal Rescue

freshfields animal ambulance

Freshfields Animal Rescue is saving time and resources thanks to its new animal ambulance part-funded by Petplan Charitable Trust.

freshfields animal rescue logoThe charity approached the Trust back in 2018 to fund a shortfall of £7,497 needed to purchase the new animal ambulance. Their old vehicle was no longer fit for purpose having served the charity well for 13 years.

The new purpose-built vehicle is set to serve the charity for many years to come. Modern and well-equipped, it is designed to carry up to eight animals at a time. It also boasts a bespoke modular cage system that gives Freshfields the flexibility to take larger animals.

maple the dog has laser treatment at freshfields animal rescueAccording to the charity, the animal ambulance has not only reduced their running costs but has also improved their effectiveness. Plus, they have saved time and resources in taking animals to veterinary surgeries. What’s more, the charity has been able to carry out further neutering work in the local community.

“Petplan Charitable Trust has been a stalwart supporter of animal rescue services for many years,” says Debbie Hughes of Freshfields Animal Rescue.

“Their understanding of the needs of the charity sector is profound, and is especially important to independent local rescue centres like Freshfields. We are extremely grateful for their assistance in helping us to (literally in this case!) keep the wheels turning as we carry out our life-saving work.”

We’ve supported Freshfields Animal Rescue since 2015 with two grants. The first was for £5000 to purchase equipment for the centre’s on-site vet room.

Read more about the fantastic work at Freshfields, here

Read more news stories, here

PPCT grant helps give ex-racing greyhounds a future

retired black greyhound hope rescue

A grant from Petplan Charitable Trust is helping to support, rehabilitate and rehome injured and retired greyhounds.

hope rescue logoAmazing Greys is the brainchild of Hope Rescue, a charity base in Llanharan, South Wales. The greyhounds all come from a local racing track and many would have been put down without this intervention.

“Without the support of the Petplan Charitable Trust, we would not have been able to sustain this project alongside our provision for stray and abandoned dogs,” explains Hope Rescue’s Amy Greenfield.

a greyhound from the amazing greys project by hope rescueHope Rescue was established in 2005 to improve the welfare of dogs, regardless of breed, age or any medical conditions. The charity primarily takes in stray dogs from Local Authority pounds which would otherwise be put to sleep after seven days. It also accepts all stray dogs from six Local Authorities in South Wales, as well as dogs whose owners can no longer care for them.

A small, independent charity, Hope Rescue relies on the support of dedicated volunteers and donations. One of its key sources of income, its charity shop and dog friendly cafe in Pontypridd, was recently devastated by Storm Dennis. According to Greenfield, the charity will lose an income stream worth around £9000 for every month that its doors remains closed.

Read more about Hope Rescue and Amazing Greys, here

Read more news stories, here

Memorialising our pets: how poems can help us mourn and remember

remembering a beloved pet - the poetry of mary oliver

Poetry – our own or others’, it doesn’t matter – is such a powerful way to express anguish and to mourn and remember the dead.

In the last post, I said we’d come back to the poet Mary Oliver. Afterwards, I remembered that she was a dog-lover. Here at the Trust website, we don’t intend to leave cats and other critters out of the mix! And we won’t. But Oliver was also an outstanding poet who wrote honestly and hopefully about the natural world and everything and everyone in it. If you’re interested, try her Wild Geese which she reads here

A ready-made family in Nature

Her point that we have a ready-made family in Nature makes such sense to me when it comes to our pets. The dear old black dog up the road was a prime example. He was such a joyful, welcoming soul. If he saw you on a walk, he’d come lolloping over stiffly from afar, with a windmilling tail. I just learned that he died recently. He had lived 12 years and had a fine dog’s life. I shall miss his happy presence, as his people surely do.

It turns out that a retired scholar writes memorials in Latin for deceased pets and gives the translations. Things like:

  • Weep for my misfortune all dog lovers, Russell has died, the darling of our home […]


  • […] Be happy among the shades, you well-loved cat […]

How’s that for flowery language – and why not? Immense loss sometimes calls for nothing less.

Heart-rending honesty and beauty

Other poets express their love of animals and sense of loss differently, but with heart-rending honesty and beauty. This poem by Gavin Ewart about his own cat says it all. And elsewhere on the Trust site, you may have seen the poem about a dog called Major written by his  grieving owner. You can read his tribute here.

The Rainbow Bridge piece is another winner and well-known to most of us. And, Mary Oliver also expressed her feelings about her dogs. Her collection Dog Songs says lots of lovely things. In The First Time Percy Came Back, she ponders the mystery of death, in a dream she had about a beloved dog, now dead. Here she is, reading it.

But, back to you…

These days of coronavirus are such strange and sad times for us humans. The demands of lockdown make the pains of any bereavement all the harsher.

To contain our grief for our pets out of respect for those bereaved by Covid-19 – and for the frontline workers who have died from it – shows great solidarity and generosity of heart. That does not make it easy. It is not, especially if we don’t have the space or privacy we need to express our own grief.

Caroline Hewson


Author: Caroline Hewson MRCVS
Caroline Hewson is a vet and has a PhD in animal behaviour. She writes and gives talks that translate research relevant to pets’ end of life into points to keep in mind. 


Read more posts from The Pet Loss Blog

If you are coping with the loss of your dog, cat or any animal companion, the Trust’s Bereavement pages are here to support you. And, if you have a poem or epitaph for a pet that you would like to share, don’t hesitate to post it on our Facebook page.

Animal Rescue Live viewers donate over half a million pounds to PPCT

animal rescue live greyhound trust

Petplan Charitable Trust was delighted to be selected as the nominated charity for Channel 4’s fundraiser, Animal Rescue Live, in August 2019.

But, the Trust had no idea that several months later it would be in a position to award grants to 141 charities totalling well over half a million pounds.

An incredible £548,995 was donated over the course of the 5 days the programme aired. This was further boosted by those who donated under Gift Aid, resulting in a total of £607,317 to donate to worthy causes.

As you can imagine, the awarding committee had a hard job deciding. They felt that, in the spirit of the programme, it was best to spread the funds available widely to help as many charities as possible.

As a consequence, we are delighted to announce that the entire £607,317 will be distributed to a total of 141 charities. No grant was larger than £8,250 and 10% of the charities received the full amount they had asked for.

Covid-19 Update: In light of the Covid-19 pandemic many of the successful charities and shelters are now facing unprecedented financial hardship. As such, Channel 4 and the Petplan Charitable Trust, who administered the fund, have decided to relax the rules on how the money is spent to allow the charities to use the funds for running costs and staffing as this is in the best interests of the animals they care for.

Here is the list in full:

Charity Name Amount Granted
British Hen Welfare Trust £8,625
Angels Small Paws Dog Rescue £8,000
Animal Krackers Limited £8,000
Animals In Distress Torbay £8,000
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home £8,000
Blue Cross £8,000
Danaher Animal Home £8,000
Dogs Trust Islington £8,000
Greyhound Trust £8,000
Margaret Green Animal Rescu £8,000
Newcastle Dog & Cat Shelter £8,000
People For Animal Care Trust £8,000
Rain Rescue £8,000
Raystede £8,000
Scottish S P C A £8,000
The Animal Rescue Charity £8,000
The Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary £8,000
The Scratching Post £8,000
Thornberry Animal Sanctuary £8,000
Abandoned Animals Association £8,000
Hope Rescue £7,600
Cheltenham Animal Shelter £6,800
B.A.R.K. £6,400
The Mayhew Animal Home £6,400
Cheshire Dogs Home £6,125
Alexa’S Animals £6,111
RSPCA Radcliffe Trust £6,000
Borders Pet Rescue £6,000
Broken Biscuits £6,000
Celia Hammond Animal Trust £6,000
Dbarc £6,000
Ferne Animal Sanctuary £6,000
Friends Of Animals League £6,000
Happy Endings £6,000
Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary £6,000
K9 Crusaders Dog Welfare £6,000
Lincolnshire Greyhound Trust £6,000
Oldham Cats £6,000
Spirit Of The Dog £6,000
Wadars £6,000
Wood Green, The Animals Charity £6,000
Cats Protection Head Office Bsu £6,000
Caring For Cats Yorkshire And Humber £6,000
Mayflower Sanctuary £5,016
Leicester Animal Aid Assoc. £5,000
All Creatures Great & Small Animal Sanctuary £4,250
Animals In Need Maxicare Death Row Dogs £4,250
Assisi Animal Sanctuary £4,250
Benvardin Animal Rescue Kennels £4,250
Carla Lane Animals In Need £4,250
Cats R Us £4,250
Coventry Cat Group £4,250
Dogs Friends £4,250
Forever Hounds Trust £4,250
Freshfields Animal Rescue £4,250
Gables Farm Dogs & Cats Home £4,250
Hector’S Greyhound Rescue £4,250
Huddersfield Feral And Strays £4,250
Jerry Green Dog Rescue Centre £4,250
National Animal Welfare Trust £4,250
National Animal Welfare Trust £4,250
National Animal Welfare Trust £4,250
National Animal Welfare Trust £4,250
Oak Tree Animals’ Charity £4,250
Romney House Cat Rescue £4,250
RSPCA – Cornwall Branch £4,250
RSPCA – Doncaster £4,250
RSPCA Bristol Branch £4,250
RSPCA Burton Upon Trent And District Branch £4,250
RSPCAClwyd and Colwyn Branch £4,250
RSPCACoventry, Nuneaton & District Branch £4,250
RSPCA Crewe Nantwich And District Branch £4,250
RSPCA Halifax, Huddersfield, Bradford And District Branch £4,250
RSPCA Hull & East Riding Branch £4,250
RSPCA Solent Branch £4,250
RSPCA Southport Birkdale £4,250
RSPCA Swansea £4,250
RSPCA Warrington, Halton And St Helens £4,250
RSPCA Worcester & Mid-Worcestershire Branch £4,250
Society For Abandoned Animals £4,250
St Giles Animal Rescue £4,250
Stray Aid Ltd £4,250
The Animal Sanctuary £4,250
The Cotswolds Dogs & Cats Home £4,250
The Rabbit Residence Rescue £4,250
Wirral Animal Welfare Association £4,250
Yorkshire Cat Rescue £4,250
Heatons Animal Rescue Group £4,000
Tia Greyhound & Lurcher Rescue £4,000
Cats Protection Head Office Bsu £3,640
Birmingham Dogs Home Fundraising £3,600
Greyhound Trust £3,600
Hull Animal Welfare Trust £3,600
RSPCA Leeds And Wakefield £3,600
MK Cat Rescue £3,500
Daybreaks Trust £3,250
Cats Protection £3,000
Cats Protection Head Office Bsu £3,000
Happy Landings Animal Shelter £3,000
The Sheffield Cat Shelter £3,000
Worcestershire Animal Rescue Shelter £3,000
4 Paws Cat Rescue £2,500
B.A.R.K.S. £2,500
Catflap £2,500
Evermore Dog Rescue £2,500
German Shepherd Rescue Elite £2,500
Grovehill Animal Trust £2,500
K9 Focus Dog Rescue £2,500
Millhouse Animal Sanctuary £2,500
New Start Cat Rescue £2,500
Pawprints Dog Rescue £2,500
Second Chance Animal Rescue £2,500
Warrington Animal Welfare £2,500
All Bullie Rescue £2,000
Animal Care Morecambe & Dist. £1,930
Bath Cats And Dogs Home £2,000
Bransby Horses £2,000
Cats Protection £2,000
Rehoming Animal Telephone Service (Rats) £1,750
Stockenchurch Dog Rescue £1,500
RSPCA Manchester & Salford Branch £1,380
Animals Of Hope £1,250
Asap Cat Rescue £1,250
Bulldog Rescue & Re Homing £1,250
Cats Protection Head Office Bsu £1,250
Consett Cat Rescue £1,250
English Springer Spaniel Welfare Charity £1,250
Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care £1,250
Happycats Rescue £1,250
Harley’S Hounds Dog Rescue £1,250
Here For Cats £1,250
Just Springers Rescue £1,250
Kitten Karers £1,250
Northern Greyhound Rescue £1,250
Our Special Friends Limited £1,250
S.A.R.A.  Saving And Re-homing Animals. £1,250
Staffordshire Bull Terrier Rescue £1,250
Woodlands Animal Sanctuary £1,250
Cats Protection Head Office Bsu £1,200
The Cat & Rabbit Rescue Centre £1,200
Stopford Cat Rescue £740