Our Special Friends (OSF) understands just how much pets enrich, and sometimes completely tranform, our lives.

OUr Special Friends OSF logoSo when Sean contacted the charity in desperation about an injury to his young rescue dog, Shelly, OSF immediately stepped in to help.

Shelly had injured her leg whilst playing with another dog. She needed an operation urgently. However, Sean could not meet the cost of surgey as he was unable to work owing to mental ill health.  He explained the situation to his vet and they suggested he contact OSF.

It was immediately clear just how important Shelly was to Sean. Before she had come into his life, he had been suffering from anxiety, despression and was struggling to leave the house. Shelly’s arrival has turned his life around. Responding to her needs has got him out of the house, going for walks in the woodland behind his home. Together they have made dog friends and Sean’s anxiety and depression have reduced considerably He has even managed to reduce his medication.

Sean with his dog Shelly OSF

OSF liased with Sean’s vet and offered financial help

Understandably he was distraught when she injured herself and had no idea who to turn to for help. OSF supported him by liaising with his veterinary practice and offering financial help from the charity’s Animal Welfare Support Fund. Petplan Charitable Trust donated £5000 to the fund in 2020.

“We liaised with his vets and contacted the Blue Cross to see if they could contribute towards the cost of the operation,” explains Dr Belinda Johnston, OUr Special Friends’ Chief Executive & Founder.  “The surgery was referred to the Cambridge Veterinary School via the RSPCA and all the liaison was handled by us taking the pressure away from Sean. We remained in close contact with Sean throughout Shelly’s surgery and lent him a crate for Shelly’s 6-week convalescence at home. Shelly has made a complete recovery to full mobility and they are enjoying their walks once again.”

The charity contributed to 34 cases in 2020

In 2020, OSF has contributed to 34 cases, with a total of 31 dogs and 7 cats benefiting from the Fund (in some casing helping more than one pet at a time). The charity says that if they had not stepped in, a number of the animals would not have received the care they needed.

Without funding from charities such as Petplan Charitable Trust, OSF couldn’t continue the vital work they do. Our Special Friends played a key role in this case, providing advocacy, advice and emotional support for Sean alongside financial assistance, helping him to cope in a desperate situation. Being able to source funds towards the veterinary costs gave him reassurance and post- surgery support helped Shelly’s recovery.

‘A godsend from the first phone call’

“OSF was a godsend from the first phone call,” says Sean. “They helped me cope and arranged for Shelly to have an appointment with the RSPCA and Cambridge Vet School, and helped me fund the operation and sort everything out … it was the biggest help I could have asked for. Before I spoke to Belinda, I didn’t know what to do. She helped with my anxiety about the situation. The service you have provided for us both is second to none. Thank you so much for everything. I can’t thank you enough.”

Read more about Our Special Friends, here

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