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PPCT grant helps turn two rescue dogs into Canine Befrienders

One of the two rescue dogs Cisco wearing NHS bib

Two rescue dogs have been trained as Canine Befrienders thanks to a grant from Petplan Charitable Trust.

Rescue greyhound Mara wearing NHS bibThe NHS linked charity, Spirit in Mind, were awarded £250 in June 2020 towards their Canine Befrienders Programme. The charity provides the service to help support patients with mental health issues. The money contributed to the cost of putting the two rescue dogs through the recruitment/assessment process for the programme.

“I am very pleased to report that both passed with flying colours!” says Angie Barker, Befriending Project and Volunteer Support Co-ordinator.

“The very handsome Cisco, who was rescued from the streets of Romania, is now doing a wonderful job welcoming and spending time with visitors to the Pastoral and Spiritual Care department within the hospital. He is proving to be a very popular member of the team! And, the lovely Mara, who is a rescued racing greyhound, is due to start her role visiting individuals on the inpatient units very shortly.

“I am particularly excited that we have been able to recruit these two beautiful dogs, who have both been rescued from particularly traumatic circumstances. I know they will do a fantastic job in supporting humans who are going through difficult times.”

Spirit in Mind is a project initiated by South West Yorkshire NHS Foundation Trust. The idea is to support patient wellbeing through a collaboration between healthcare and community-based spiritual organisations. The Canine Befriender project provides an opportunity for people to benefit from the non-judgemental companionship of dogs.

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PPCT helps equine charity Oak Tree Animals save 7 ponies, two in foal

mares and foals oak tree animals

Our Covid-19 Equine Rescues Emergency Fund has helped Oak Tree Animals take part in a major RSPCA rescue operation.

oak tree animals charity logoThe charity, based in Carlisle, was asked to step in to save 7 ponies. They only found out later that two were in foal. The good news is that all the ponies and both foals (main pic) are doing well. You can find out more in our latest case study.

Back in March, the Trust was quick to spot that smaller equine charities would be hard hit by the pandemic. The cost of rescuing and caring for horses and ponies is significant. As the country was plunged into lockdown, the impact of losing the ability to fundraise effectively was certain to have serious consequences. Working as quickly as possible, the Trust set up a special equine fund in association with World Horse Welfare and the National Equine Welfare Council (NEWT).

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PPCT and Dogs Trust lay wreath at Animals in War Memorial

tilly retriever dog animals in war monument

The Trust’s annual Animals in War remembrance service was pared down to a much quieter wreath-laying this year.

adam clowes dogs trust animals in warThe pandemic made it impossible for the many charities and military personnel that are usually present to gather together at London’s Animals in War Memorial. But, it was no less moving for that.  Representing Dogs Trust and Petplan Charitable Trust, Adam Clowes (Dogs Trust Operations Director) laid a wreath on behalf of all animal welfare organisations. He was joined by his dog, Tilly.

The message accompanying the wreath read:

Presented by Dogs Trust and Petplan Charitable Trust on 5 November 2020 on behalf of all animal welfare organisations.
We will never forget the bravery of the animals that served alongside our soldiers in battle.

The Animals in War Memorial in London’s Park Lane was officially opened in 2004 by HRH the Princess Royal. The monument was designed by English sculptor David Backhouse to pay tribute to all the animals that served, suffered and died alongside the British, Commonwealth and Allied forces in the wars and conflicts of the 20th century.

Each year, on the Friday nearest to Remembrance Sunday, Petplan Charitable Trust organises a special service. Representatives from animal charities all over the UK come to pay their respects.

See images from last year’s ceremony attended by Jilly Cooper CBE and Sir Derek Jacobi.

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Applications for PPCT Scientific Grants are now OPEN

yasmin patterson with her horse totem recipient of PPCT scientific grant

Petplan Charitable Trust is delighted to announce that applications are now open for Scientific ‘Full’ and ‘Pump Primer’ grants.

The Trust is proud to support non-invasive research into conditions affecting companion animals. In the past two years alone, we have granted almost £1.4 million for studies into areas as diverse as canine cruciate diagnosis and prevention, feline urinary tract infection and equine tendon regeneration.

Successful applicants in previous years include PhD student and winner of  the Walter and Dorothy Plowright Memorial Prize for Young Researchers, Yasmin Paterson (above). The grant allowed her to investigate stem-cell based therapy for horses with tendon injuries using cutting-edge sequencing techniques.

Despite Covid, the Trust is open for business

This year has been particularly tough for all of us.  The Covid-19 crisis has impacted everyone and our veterinary institutions are no exception. The Trust has been, and continues to be, very supportive of the unavoidable delays caused by Covid in completion of studies and is happy to provide an extension to the length of studies where appropriate.

As we launch a new scientific grant round for 2020-21, we would like to reassure applicants that we are very much ‘open for business’.

Click here to find our more about our Scientific Grants and how to apply.

Download our latest terms and conditions:

FULL GRANT terms and conditions 2020

PUMP PRIMER terms and conditions 2020

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How to apply for a Welfare Grant. Applications are open now!

wvs vet holds one eyed puppy

Are you a registered animal welfare charity with a current or future project in mind that requires more funding?

Since 1994, Petplan Charitable Trust has awarded grants totalling over £13 million.  Welfare grants have been awarded for everything from neutering programmes, veterinary care and specialised transport to large building projects such as barns, kennelling and veterinary units. You can read about some of these projects, here.

How to apply for a Welfare Grant

To apply for a grant, simply click on the blue ‘Apply For A Grant’ button at the top of the page. The deadline for Welfare Grant applications is Friday 11th December 2020. You will be taken to the charity registration page:

white scottie dog running

Don’t forget to read the Terms and Conditions. You’ll find these as downloadable PDFs on the right hand side of the Apply For A Grant page. (You can also access them in the charity login area after you have registered.) Please fill in the ‘Charities Registration Form’. It is important that you select the correct grant type ie. Welfare:

Form showing where to select welfare grant

Once you have completed the form, click REGISTER and you will be taken through to the Welfare Grant process area:

When you’re ready to apply, simply hit the Apply For A Grant button and you will be taken through to the Welfare Grant Application Form. You will need to create an account to use the portal. There are clear instructions to follow.

Remember, you can log back into the charity area on the PPCT website at any time using the blue Charity Login button at the top of the page.

Good luck with your application! (Scientific grant applications will open at the end of October 2020.)

NB: If you are an equine charity currently in difficulty as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic, you should consider applying for the Covid 19 Equine Rescues Emergency Fund. Applications for the current found of funding are open until Friday 16th October 2020. There will be a further round of funding in January.

Main image courtesy Worldwide Veterinary Service. Read their story here

How a PPCT-funded isolation unit is transforming lives at Stokenchurch Dog Rescue

black and white dog sparkle at stokenchurch dog rescue

On a cold winter’s evening, a concerned visitor to Stokenchurch Dog Rescue (SDR) brought in a starved, emaciated black and white dog.

stokenchurch dog rescue logo“Looking at her was heartbreaking,” remembers Trustee, Lesley Peel. “You could almost count every bone in her body.” You can read Sparkle’s story in our latest case study, here.

Dogs arrive at Stokenchurch Dog Rescue with all sorts of health and welfare conditions. It is critical that the charity can isolate the sick and injured dogs or any incoming dogs they suspect of having infection or contagious disease.

“Our previous isolation block became unfit for purpose. When its foundations were declared unsound it had to be taken out of action,” explains Peel. “In its place we built an improved facility including dog rooms, a dedicated food preparation kitchen, storage and small surgery facility. There is also a socialisation room to enable any dog during recovery to interact with the team away from the main kennels, which may be noisy and stressful to a sick animal.”

PPCT donated £10,000 towards the new building

Isolation Unit Stokenchurch Dog Rescue funded by petplan charitable trust“The ISO unit was built to modern isolation standards, including sealed ventilation and drainage to prevent the spread of infection. Materials for floors, walls and doors are sufficiently robust to withstand the more rigorous cleaning regimes required,” says Peel.

“Heating, cooling and humidity control systems help to keep sick animals comfortable. New arrivals have a short stay in ISO to be medically checked and observed for any infections, and to avoid potential bugs spreading to our other dogs.”

‘Moss’ was found bleeding badly by the side of the road

Like Sparkle, Moss was nursed back to health in the ISO unit. Late one evening, a Lurcher type, aged approx. 6-8 months, was found bleeding badly by the side of the road and his rescuers brought him to SDR. The young pup was in total shock, his eyes were empty and he couldn’t stop himself from shaking.

a rescue lurcher with bandaged paw at stokenchurch dog rescue“After some initial care for shock and to stem the bleeding, we took him straight to the vets for emergency treatment,” says Peel. “We called him Moss because, despite the trauma and pain, he had such a soft and gentle nature throughout his treatment. Moss had some nasty leg injuries, including broken toes.”

Moss went through a lengthy recovery, with bandages being changed every two days.  Amazingly, the trauma he had experienced and his long road back to health has had no lasting effect on his temperament. With no microchip, the only course of action was to rehome him.

“Moss went home to a family who have previously adopted from us, and he is now living with his new big brother Boris,” explains Peel.

“The award of a grant from Petplan Charitable Trust has helped Stokenchurch Dog Rescue to bring care and kindness to the many unwanted and abandoned dogs that come to the centre in need of help.”

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How our Covid fund is helping two equine charities ride out the pandemic

remus horse sanctuary field horses

When the UK went into lockdown in March, it soon became apparent that animal charities would suffer.

Forced to cancel their usual fundraising activities, they were suddenly faced with meeting the needs of their rescue animals on a severely reduced budget. Smaller equine charities were hit hard as there are significant costs associated with caring for and treating horses. In order to provide some assistance, Petplan Charitable Trust (PPCT) joined together with World Horse Welfare and the National Equine Welfare Council (NEWC) to create a Covid-19 Equine Rescues Emergency Fund.

donkey at remus horse sanctuary

Two of the many charities that have benefitted are Remus Horse Sanctuary and Bodmin Moorland Pony Rehabilitation.

Based in Essesx, Remus Sanctuary provides lifetime help and care not just for horses, ponies and donkeys, but also goats, sheep, cows and cats. Many of the animals have been subjected to severe cruelty.

“Your donation has directly helped us get a bit further through the covid situation and feed, care for and tend to the many horses, ponies and donkeys at the Sanctuary and to continue our much needed work,” says the charity.

dartmoor ponies bodin moorland pony rehabilitationBodmin Moorland Pony Rehabilitation cares for abandoned moorland hill ponies from Dartmoor, Exmoor and Bodmin Moor. The Covid-19 grant came just in time for  surgery on two young colts from Dartmoor, Rudi and Orca. The bill came to £1,900. The pair came to the charity in 2018 when they were estimated to be around 3 months old and too young to be away from their mothers. Now two years old and thriving, they are ready to be rehomed.

“Our Herd Manager, Shelley Oldfield, does amazing work with these wonderful ponies on a shoestring and without a salary and the security that brings,” says Imogen Holt. “I am privileged to be involved, and thank you so much for helping.”

Are you an animal welfare charity seeking funding? Applications are now open for Welfare Grants. Click here

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How PPCT grants are helping two smaller charities cope with vets’ bills

Smaller animal charities have had it particularly tough this year.

Sunshine Cat Rescue logoBut, in truth, every year is a challenge when you’re relying solely on volunteers and money raised through fundraising activities. Yet these charities do vital work within their local communities thanks to the extraordinary dedication of their founders, helpers and supporters.

refuge for pets logoPetplan Charitable Trust understands the huge value of small charities and is always delighted to award grants to support them. Two such charities are Sunshine Cat Rescue and Refuge4Pets.

Based in Oxfordshire, Sunshine Cat Rescue provides care for both cats and kittens in need. Many need veterinary care which, according to Sharon Carbonero, is the charity’s major expense. The charity also endeavours to reduce the number of unwanted felines at large in the local area through a programme of neutering.

Refuge4Pets provides a pet fostering service to the victims/survivors of domestic abuse in Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. According to the charity, the animals are often targeted by the abusers as a way to intimidate and control their partners and children.

Find out how PPCT grants are helping these and other charities, here.

Are you a charity? The next round of Welfare grant applications opens on September 14th 2020. Find out more>

PPCT helps fund new van for Blue Cross rehoming unit

blue cross van newport

Petplan Charitable Trust has awarded several grants to Blue Cross in recent years. One was to help purchase and refit a brand new van for the charity’s Newport Rehoming and Advice Unit.

blue cross logoThe van is used for safely transferring dogs from the Newport rehoming unit to overnight kennels.

“Last year, the Newport unit saw over 100 dogs rehomed – using a small, old, borrowed van to transfer just a couple of the dogs each time,” explains Victoria Kingsman at Blue Cross. “It is expected that this new, larger, modified van will significantly increase efficiencies so that many more needy dogs can now be helped.”

Newport is an area noted for relatively high numbers of stray animals. The centre helps more than 300 pets a year.

Read more about this grant>

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Meet rescue terrier Bilbo, our Pet Loss Blog cover star

Bilbo the terrier defies life expectancy at 17

Meet superstar senior Bilbo. This cheeky little chappie has defied life expectancy predictions for terriers and is looking forward to his 18th birthday in November.

birmingham dogs home logoThe wonderful photo was posted on the Trust’s facebook page by proud owner Jilly Rivers, Fundraising Co-ordinator at Birmingham Dogs’ Home.

Vet and pet loss expert, Caroline Hewson, knew immediately that she had the cover star for her latest blog post which looks at pet life expectancy. He has clearly ignored all the research that puts the typical terrier lifespan at around 13 to 14 years.

“Bilbo is fit as a fiddle!” says Jilly. ” I rehomed him from Birmingham Dogs’ Home as a 9-week-old puppy as his owners were moving abroad. It was love at first sight and I knew I had to take him home!”

So, what breed is he? “I had a DNA test carried out and it came back as x Jack Russell terrier/Parsons Jack Russell terrier,” she says.

“We actually forget how old Bilbo is”

“Health-wise, he’s only had 2 dentals, with no other issues. He is actually a very fit dog for his age. He hasn’t slowed up, still plays with toys and the other two dogs. We actually forget how old he is sometimes. We love him to bits and he has been with me for the majority of the years that I have worked at BDH. He is a big part of my life and a perfect example of what a fantastic little rescue you can rehome from Birmingham Dogs’ Home.”

Post a pic of your senior pet for a chance to feature!

Have you rescued an older pet? Or do you share your life with one? We are looking for more superstar senior pets to appear in the Pet Loss Blog. Post a pic on our facebook and instagram pages for a chance to feature.

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