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Remembering the animals who have served and died in conflict

PPCT poppy wreath laid at Animals in War Memorial

Two wreaths were laid today at London’s Animals in War Memorial in memory of the animals who have served and died in conflicts around the world.

Director of Dogs Trust, Karen Reed, laid the wreaths on behalf of animal welfare charities and Petplan Charitable Trust (PPCT).

Karen was accompanied by a Dogs Trust rescue dog called Seal (pictured left).

“This monument is a powerful reminder of all the animals that have served, suffered and died in wars and conflicts around the world,” she said.

“Being here with Dogs Trust rescue dog Seal today, representing not just Dogs Trust but all of the other animal welfare organisations and Petplan Charitable Trust, is a huge honour.

“It’s been a very moving morning, thinking about the enormous contribution made by our four and two-legged animal friends over the years.”

The event has taken place annually since 2004, when the memorial – designed by English sculptor David Backhouse – was unveiled by HRH The Princess Royal. Each year, on the Friday nearest to Remembrance Sunday, PPCT organises a special service to commemorate the horses, mules, donkeys, dogs, pigeons and other animals who have served the country in wartime, and animal charities come to pay their respects.

Images courtesy Dogs Trust


See below for images from our 2019 service. All 2019 images courtesy Wayne Jones Photography.

Juno at 6 months: latest update on our sponsored puppy

Black lab Juno sits on patio

Dog ice-cream, tennis balls and a good ear scratch are just some of things Dogs For Good puppy, Juno, is showing a taste for.

“She developed a taste for dog ice-cream over the summer,” says Mike who, along with his wife Penny, are currently fostering Juno. Their role as puppy socialisers is to help Juno develop in areas such as house training, basic obedience, learning to be left alone and settling in public places. With the occasional cooling treat thrown in,  of course!

“For the first six months the focus is to make sure that all our puppies have a consistent routine,” explains Trusts Manager at Dogs For Good, Allison Allen. “The pups also need to spend time being socialised around different environments and to meet lots of different people and animals. Due to the pandemic this has not always been possible, however our socialisers have been doing the best they can with the support of our puppy team.”

juno enjoys dog ice cream at the beachThe charity kept things on track online, with puppy co-ordinations setting challenges for their volunteers through their closed Facebook group. They also provided support via virtual 1-2-1 training and group puppy classes.

According to Allen, Juno has settled in well with Mike and Penny. In fact, the pair socialised her mum Elsa and say that Juno is similar to her – bright, with an independent streak! Penny in particular has been working on Juno’s obedience. Juno is doing really well, she walks well on the lead and responds to the main commands of sit, stay, wait and down.

‘Juno is particulary well-behaved in pubs’

Juno has learned to respond to the whistle and will usually recall to the sound of it or her name; although she can sometimes get distracted by other people and dogs! She can also be quite excitable when she meets new people but, as she is still a young dog, her socialisers will continue to work on this with the support of their puppy co-ordinator Becci.

“Juno has been to town on several occasions, navigated Didcot railway station platforms and lifts, and copes really well with noisy traffic, trains and similar distractions,” says Mike.  “She settles very well when she is out, and is proving to be particularly well behaved in pubs! She plays very well with other dogs, has inherited her mum’s love of playing with tennis balls (though not the ability to catch them yet), and is getting better at finding toys that we hide around the house. She is still not keen on being left alone, but getting used to it slowly. Otherwise, we haven’t found anything she seems to dislike!”

Mike and Penny will continue socialising Juno for another 10 – 12 months, taking her for trips on public transport, to supermarkets and restaurants and introducing her to different animals, both big and small. They will also continue working on her obedience with the help and support of the Dogs For Good puppy team.

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Royal Veterinary College ‘thrilled’ with newly refurbished ward for cats

royal veterinary college reburshed cat ward funded by PPCT

The Royal Veterinary College in London is celebrating the newly refurbished cat ward at their Small Animals Referral Hospital.

royal veterinary college logoThe project to give their feline patients improved accommodation was made possible by a £17,000 donation from Petplan Charitable Trust. As ever, this donation would not have been possible without the generous support of pet lovers like you.

Jenny Collins, Trusts and Corporate Fundraising Officer at the RVC, sent this lovely message:

“Thank you once again for your incredible support of the cat ward refurbishment at the RVC Small Animal Referrals Hospital. We are very grateful for the Petplan Charitable Trust grant of £17,000, which has created more space and accommodation for cats whilst they are in hospital.

petplan plaque at royal veterinary college“We are thrilled to have been able to carry out the refurbishment work and I hope you and the Trustees will see that the new facilities are of the highest standard. This wonderful donation and your support have improved the lives of cats being cared for at the hospital. Thank you.”

This is not the first time PPCT has stepped in to support the Royal Veterinary College. In 1996, the Trust made a donation to support the development of the Royal Veterinary College Queen Mother Hospital for Animals.

Find out more about the charities and institutions we support, here

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Pet Blood Bank launches PPCT-funded mobile app

pet blood bank new app announcement

A brand new pet blood donor app has been launched by UK charity Pet Blood Bank.

pet blood bank logoFunded by Petplan Charitable Trust, the pet blood donor app is currently for registered owners only. New owners will be added to the app as part of the donor registration process.

Just as with humans, healthy blood is in constant demand by practitioners in their efforts to save lives. The charity was set up in 2007 to support UK vets and help meet that demand. Since then, the number of donors has grown into the thousands and vets have saved countless lives using the charity’s blood products.

Welfare of the donor dogs is a top priority

The charity is keen to stress that the welfare of the donor dogs is a top priority. The charity is monitored and audited by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate; an executive government agency dedicated to promoting animal welfare. The charity selects donor dogs very carefully, looking for confident animals that are happy to be part of the donation process.

“Most of our donors come bounding through the doors with their tails wagging excited for all the fuss and attention they are going to get,” says the charity.  “Some dogs are so relaxed they fall asleep on the donation table while enjoying a lovely tummy rub.”

The pet blood donor app isn’t the first Pet Blood Bank project the Trust has been involved with. In 2019, we helped the charity launch the UK’s first canine blood mobile unit.

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PPCT donates £2500 towards Pen Farthing’s Nowzad appeal

female vet looks through microscope at nowzad animal charity afghanistan

PPCT has donated £2500 to Nowzad, the animal charity founded by ex-marine Pen Farthing in Afghanistan.

The donation was made in response to a desperate plea by Farthing on national television for funds to help him get his staff and the animals in their care to safety in the UK.

With the Taliban back in power, the staff are believed to be in very real danger owing to their association with a British charity and an ex-serviceman.

vet at nowzad holds dog

Nowzad was set up to reunite soldiers with the stray cats and dogs they befriended on the front line in Afghanistan. Since then, the charity has brought over 1600 soldiers and their pets back together. They have also opened a dog shelter, a cat shelter and Afghanistan’s first donkey shelter. These actions have not only changed the lives of the animals in their care but also brought opportunities for local people.

Nowzad trains Afghanistan’s first female vets

In 2018, PPCT donated funds to support Nowzad’s Veterinary Student Practical Training programme. This allowed them to train more than one hundred local veterinary students in practical, hands-on sessions at the Nowzad Conrad Lewis clinic in Kabul. The charity has been a pioneer in training the country’s first female vets.

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First residents at newly opened Dogs Trust Cardiff go to their forever homes

family with rescue dog outside dogs trust cardiff

Just two weeks after opening, Dogs Trust Cardiff has waved a fond farewell to four of its very first residents.

dogs trust logoThe lucky animals are now settling in with their new families. Appropriately, first out of the starting gate was 18-month-old ex-racing greyhound, Toby. Having retired from the track, he has begun a new life with adopter Julie Smith from Cwmbran.

“After the sad loss of my previous dog, I was looking to bring another four-legged friend into my life,” explains Julie. “I started looking on Dogs Trust’s website and out of all the dogs, Toby (shown below right with Julie and her father) stood out to me – he looked so charming!

“I filled in the application and was so happy to be invited to meet Toby at the brand new rehoming centre in Cardiff. I was so excited on the day and the staff let me walk him, spend time getting to know him and make sure he was right for me, as well as me being right for him.

Two adopters stand with greyhound outside Dogs Trust Cardiff“Since coming home, he has settled in so well. I live on my own so having him by my side makes the house feel a little less empty and he is the perfect match for me. He enjoys his walks and takes everything in his stride, it’s wonderful seeing him so relaxed and at ease in his new home.”

Three further dogs are also beginning a new chapter in their lives: one-year-old Chihuahua cross, Bertie (main photo), Bryn a two-year old Crossbreed and five-year-old Jack Russell Terrier, Buddy.

We now have the very best facilities for our dogs in Cardiff

Dogs Trust Cardiff is the charity’s 22nd rehoming centre. PPCT awarded a £19,000 grant towards the ambitious project which provides state-of-the-art facilities for its four-legged-residents on an 8-acre site. These include comfortable, spacious and underfloor heated kennels, dedicated play areas and all-weather exercise paddocks.

“We’re so grateful to Petplan Charitable Trust for their generous support for our new rehoming centre in Cardiff,” says Bryony Mills, Trust and Foundation Teams Manager at Dogs Trust.

“After two years and unforeseen delays due to the events of the last 18 months, the centre is finally open for business and has welcomed its first doggy residents. Thanks to PPCT’s wonderful support we now have the very best of equipment and facilities for our dogs in Cardiff, including a hydrotherapy suite and state of the art rehoming kennels.”

Once Dogs Trust Cardiff is fully operational, the centre will care for and rehome around 1,000 rescue dogs a year.

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PPCT-sponsored puppy ‘a delight’ say Dogs For Good socialisers

Dogs for Good black labrador puppy

We’re excited to give you an update on sponsored puppy, Juno, who has settled in well with her Dogs For Good socialisers.

Dogs for Good logoPetplan Charitable Trust pledged £14,000 to support the lively (and very cute!) Labrador x Golden Retriever through her training to become an assistance dog. This was made possible by animal lovers like you who donate to the Trust.

Juno is a special sponsored puppy as her mum, Elsa, is one of Dogs For Good’s own brood stock. The charity currently has 12 broods that live in volunteers homes and are cared for according to the highest welfare and breeding standards. Each brood will have a maximum of four litters before retiring. Once they’ve retired they will continue to live with their volunteer family as a pet dog.

Juno is now living with puppy socialisers Mike and Penny in Oxfordshire who performed the same role for Elsa.

‘Within an hour she was investigating everything with complete confidence’

“Having previously socialised Juno’s mum, we waited with anticipation for Juno’s arrival, and she did not disappoint!” says Mike. “Within an hour, she was investigating everything with complete confidence and already showing the strong character that we are getting to know and love.

“Juno is clearly a very bright dog and she learnt her new name and some basic commands within a day or so. She is particularly fond of her collection of toys, which have been a huge help while we waited for the end of her ‘vaccine isolation’. Now twelve weeks old, she is already walking well on the lead, and she is a delight!”

Find out more about Juno, here

Juno is not the first Dogs For Good puppy that we have sponsored. Sailor, also a black labrador, is now fully trained and busy performing his assistance dog duties! You can find out more about him, here

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New ambulance cages improve safety for Blue Cross rescue animals

black and white dog sits in blue cross ambulance cage

Blue Cross ambulances have been fitted with brand new animal cages thanks to a grant from Petplan Charitable Trust (PPCT).

blue cross logoThe charity had already replaced their ageing Blue Cross ambulances but were still using old cages that were well past their sell-by date. The new cages have improved safety not just for the animals but for the team that cares for them.

“Having access to the cages from both the back doors, and through the sides means our teams can manoeuvre large, recumbent patients easily into position for safe transport between our animal hospitals,” explains Pratice Manager,  Katie Shorer .

“We also have the added security of panels across the side doors and of full height at the back, meaning that even in the event of an escapee we can rest assured they will still be secure and will not bolt out when we open the door!”

This view is shared by Lee Nash, who has worked for the charity for 20 years driving Blue Cross ambulances and mobile hospitals in and white resting in Blue Cross ambulance cage“I’ve never had more peace of mind for the animals I transport than I do now,” he says. “The extra doors on the inside prevent any animal that may escape in transit from being able to escape when outer doors are open. Also we can now, in an emergency, transport three dogs if needed as the two extra side inner doors make a third kennel.”

PPCT has been supporting Blue Cross for many years. The Trust donated £5,000 towards a new van for transporting homeless dogs between the charity’s rehoming unit in Newport and their overnight kennels.

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£1000 top-up from PPCT helps Mane Chance Hay Appeal smash target

Mane chance hay appeal chestnut horse eats hay

PPCT has boosted the Mane Chance Urgent Hay Appeal, taking it to £10,000.

Jenny SeagroveThis means that the equine charity has secured a year’s supply of hay for its many rescue horses and ponies. The Trust promised that if the Hay Appeal reached 9K, they would top it up by £1000.

“A huge thanks to The Petplan Charitable Trust for their donation towards our Hay appeal,” says Jenny Seagrove, Founding Trustee of Mane Chance. “With their help we will be able to buy all the hay that our wonderful herd of rescued horses needs for the year. We are truly grateful for their ongoing support.”

Based in Guildford, Surrey, Mane Chance was set up by Seagrove in 2011. The sanctuary consists of 60 acres of grazing and the horses are managed in relationship herds. Rather than grazing in the more traditional rectangular fields, the horses roam through a track system, encouraging them to forage, exercise and gently socialise in a more natural way.

The charity has also developed a special area specifically for Shetland ponies. These hardy little ponies are designed for harsher conditions than can be found in the lush pastures of rural Surrey. This means that they are susceptible to laminitis and becoming overweight. At Mane Chance, the Shetlands live in a dedicated area that has been sown with hardier grass species. They also have access to gorse and heather, providing an environment that is much closer to their native habitat.

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PPCT sponsors puppy to be trained as assistance dog

juno black labrador puppy lies on carpet

Petplan Charitable Trust is sponsoring a labrador puppy through her training to become an assistance dog.

We’ll be following adorable black labrador puppy, Juno, as charity Dogs for Good puts her through her paces. But right now, she’s still getting used to being a puppy! Check out the video below.

“Even at such a young age, Juno will start to show some of the characteristics needed in a fully trained dog: confidence, an interest in people and in playing,” explains Allison Allen, Trusts Manager at Dogs for Good.

A secure start in life filled with love

Juno will begin by spending a year living with puppy socialisers Mike and Penny. They are part of a team of dedicated volunteers who ensure the charity’s working dogs get a secure start in life filled with love. Their key role is to ensure each puppy has lots of experience of the world around them. Juno’s early training will be overseen by Mike and Penny’s dedicated Puppy Corodinator.

“All our puppy socialisers are very committed and give their puppies endless time, love and attention, ensuring they have the best possible start,” says Allen.

black labrador puppy cuddles older golden labLabrador puppy Juno has an exciting year ahead

When Juno leaves Mike and Penny, she will be a confident, happy and social dog, ready for the next stage of her development.

“Juno has an exciting year ahead, with lots to learn and plenty of love and cuddles with her new family,” adds Allen. “It is early days and we cannot predict how her personality and behaviour will develop, but with the love and support of Mike and Penny, their family and the team here at Dogs for Good, she has every chance of success.”

Juno isn’t the first Dogs For Good puppy to be sponsored by PPCT. Meet Sailor, here

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