Tag: news

Ukraine: How your donations helped a cat called Marisya

lady in red top holds rescued taby cat Save the Dogs Ukraine

When Lidyia fled Ukraine to Romania with her beloved cat she thought they would both be safe.

blue cross logoAt 14 years old, Marisya had every right to expect a peaceful old age. But the war in Ukraine changed everything. Lidyia was forced to flee with her elderly and anxious pet. The pair then embarked on a long and difficult journey to Romania.

But, when they arrived at Bucharest airport, Marisya’s voyage ended abruptly. Because of the current boarding regulations of low-cost airlines, pets are not allowed to travel in the cabin with their owners who are fleeing the war. Would Lidyia be forced to abandon her friend at the airport?

That’s when charity Save the Dogs And Other Animals stepped in. Save the Dogs were able to welcome her at their shelter in Cernavoda and promised they would subsequently reunite her with her owner in Germany. For several days, she was looked after and kept safe at the shelter. Then, she was driven to Germany by Save the Dogs team who were also dropping off several dogs that had been adopted.

Marisya and Lidyia were finally able to be together again! If Save the Dogs had not stepped in to help, Lidyia would have had no choice but to part with her cat forever.

Savve the Dogs is one of several local charities receiving assistance from the Blue Cross Ukraine Pet Welfare Fund. Petplan Charitable Trust has donated £25,000 to the fund to help support this vital work.

(Main image shows Save the Dogs team member with Marisya)

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Ukraine: PPCT donates £25,000 to help people and their pets

corgi dog in snow blue cross ukraine

Petplan Charitable Trust has donated £25,000 to the Blue Cross Ukraine Pet Welfare Fund.

blue cross logoAs with all the Trust’s donations, this has only been possible thanks to the generosity of Petplan customers and pet lovers.

The Blue Cross Ukraine fund has been set up to support several charity partners in Poland and Romania. Working on the frontline, these charities are providing care on the ground to Ukrainian people and their pets. They include Save the Dogs and other animals, the Animal Care Society, called TOZ, and TAC.social (Transylvania Animal Care).

According to Blue Cross, donations will support work helping pets and people in Ukraine, as well as those crossing borders. Currently, all urgently need supplies such as pet food, pet carriers and essential aid for pets.

PPCT and Blue Cross have a long-standing relationship. Last year, The Trust supported the charity in Wales with funds towards a new van for the Newport Rehoming and Advice Unit (RAU). More recently, we helped provide their ambulances with new cages to improve the safety of rescued animals.

You can support our work by clicking the DONATE NOW button at the top of the page. The more donations we receive from pet lovers like you, the more animal welfare charities we can help. Thank you.

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PPCT supports Hugs Helping Hands project

boy on hugs helping hands project strokes chestnut horse

Petplan Charitable Trust has donated £7,000 to the ‘Hugs Helping Hands Rescue Pony Team’ project.

hugs foundation logo‘Hugs Helping Hands’ is run by equine charity Hugs Foundation. Based in Bodmin, Cornwall, the project combines animal welfare with human well-being, as Fundraising Manager, Laura Dennis, explains:

“The project provides a safe, nurturing and enriching environment for our animal rescues, enabling us to rehabilitate and rehome as many as possible. It also provides 900 hours of well-being support to 150 disadvantaged and vulnerable young people every year, experiencing mental ill health, due to the impact of being in one of the 10% most deprived areas in England.

“Our project involves a team of 6 resident rescue ponies and other rescues who have been carefully assessed to work alongside our young people. We create a circular relationship where they can both benefit and grow from spending time with each other, making a positive difference to both lives and supporting them to cope with and move on from the trauma or struggles they are experiencing.

collage of children in riding hats hugging horses“The funds will be used for the costs of caring for our team of 6 ponies, enhancing the track system in their field for their (and other overweight or laminitic rescues) welfare and creating a safe space and natural obstacle course (e.g. different pathways and bridges). This will enable both young people and rescues to be able to work together to build confidence and trust for more positive futures for years to come.”

Discover more about Hugs Foundation here

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PPCT grant makes NAWT match funding campaign a pawsitive success

old man and golden retriever touching heads NAWT

A match funding campaign supported by Petplan Charitable Trust has helped the National Animal Welfare Trust (NAWT) smash its donations target.

NAWT National Animal Welfare Trust logoThe charity used PPCT’s £12,000 grant to match donation pledges of £100 plus, and successfully created an initial pot of £25,000.

“Payment of those pledges was dependant on us being able to match this pot in a ‘Double Donations Week’ whereby every donation the charity received was matched by the pledge pot,” explains Alexandra Spurgeon, Fundraising and Marketing Manager at the National Animal Welfare Trust.

By the end of the week, they’d raised a whopping £58,000 for their new Pet Care in the Community project.

old lady with tabby catAccording to Spurgeon, the funding has already allowed the charity to make some great strides towards the official launch of its project. These include recruiting a Volunteer Development Manager, vital for building an entirely volunteer-lead project.

“Linda has already begun to put a solid volunteer infrastructure in place and is redeveloping our volunteer recruitment processes as well as improving the way we communicate with existing volunteers,” says Spurgeon.

National Animal Welfare Trust has also created a dedicated volunteer page within the charity’s new website, which is currently under development.

Crucially, the funding has allowed them to run a small pilot of the project This has provided valuable lessons that will inform the final plan and the framework of the official launch. You can read more about the pilot project, here.

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PPCT supports project to bring clean water to working animals in Ethiopia

Working animals drink at water trough in Oromiya in Ethiopia

By providing access to safe water, equine charity Brooke is transforming the lives of people and working animals in Ethiopia.

brooke logoThe charity has been working with local communities across the regions of Oromiya, Amhara and SNNPR (Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region). The image above comes from a completed project in Oromiya. Petplan Charitable Trust has donated £10,000 to support a similar project in Merab Azenet woreda (district) in SNNPR.

Communities in the area rely on traditional farming methods and livestock production for their livelihoods. With no access to water locally, they are forced to spend many hours to reach it. This impacts the working animals, who have to carry heavy water loads over long distances.

“They suffer from overloading, wounds form their loads, overworking, heat-stress and dehydration; this is fatal if left untreated,” explains Emma Buckley, Corporate Relationships Manager at Brooke.

3,265 working animals will benefit directly

The good news is that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Construction work is currently underway that, once complete, will provide 3,265 working equines and 1,520 households with access to safe water within an hour’s walk. According to Buckley, around 2,370 other livestock including oxen, cows, cattle, goats and sheep will also benefit from this project.

“Work has progressed well and the water scheme is expected to start serving communities and their equines and livestock ahead of the project deadline of 31st March 2022,” says Buckley.

Discover more about this fantastic project here.

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Remembering Jack, a very special Animals Asia therapy dog

animals asia staff with therapy dog golden retriever

We remember a very special golden retriever and Animals Asia therapy dog, Jack.

Animals Asia logo“Jack’s temperament and nature meant he was ideally suited to becoming a therapy dog for our/Animal Asia’s innovative Professor Paws and Dr Dog programs,” explains Grace, Jack’s human mummy,

He helped teach children to overcome their fear of dogs, learn safety around dogs, responsible pet care and compassion for all animals. He also helped patients in care homes and hospitals feel that they are special, helping to spread the message that dogs are our best friends and helpers, not food or fur.

Grace fondly remembers the time that they were out walking in the park when a little girl came over, calling ‘Jack’ as she approached them. She had met Jack at school, and she gave him a cuddle and a hug. The little girl had learning disabilities, and her family said it was unusual for her to be so responsive. She remembered Jack and felt that special bond with him.

His legacy lives on through the lives he touched

girl hugs golden retriever animals asia therapy dogJack sadly passed away in 2018 but his legacy lives on through the lives he touched, such as the little girl in the park that day. Grace subsequently went on to take in two Jack lookalikes, a beautiful 14 year old golden retriever called Pat, followed by DJ.

“I know DJ came into my life for a purpose, to continue Jack’s journey with us, and to extend Jack’s “life” with us even longer too. DJ is a perfect therapy dog for me, to help complete the deep grieving I had from losing Jack, and I believe in some way he is “Jack” continuing to give his love to me,” says Grace.

Since writing this story, we were sad to hear that DJ has passed away aged 14 years; another special soul that touched so many people’s lives. 

Are you struggling with the loss of a beloved pet? Visit our Pet Bereavement page.

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Latest pupdate on our sponsored assistance dog Juno

assistance dog with autumn leaves

We’re excited to share the latest news on our Dogs For Good assistance dog, Juno.

Juno is now nine-months old and developing into a bright young dog. She is very enthusiastic and gets excited about everything she comes into contact with!

From the age of six months onwards, the focus for socialisers Mike and Penny shifts to transferring the training they have completed at home or in online puppy classes to ‘real-life’ situations and environments.

They continue with her obedience training outdoors, ensuring that she walks to heel when on the lead and that she returns to them when called if she is free-running in the park. They will also help her learn to settle in busy places.

Penny and Mike continue to take her to a variety of different environments to get her used to the sights, sounds and smells of everyday life. She has visited both Oxford and Wantage and copes really well in busy urban environments. She settles well in shops and on transport, and continues to settle well in pubs and restaurants – much to the delight of Mike and Penny! She also regularly travels happily in the car and on buses and the train.

Juno’s recall is great – unless there is a better offer

Mike says that Juno is still a very sociable dog, and loves meeting all the people and dogs they bump into. She can get very excitable around new people, so they are working on encouraging her to keep all four paws on the ground. Her recall is great – unless there is a better offer; so they will continue to work on this aspect of her training with the support of their puppy co-ordinator through the winter months.

dogs for good assistance dog in the snowJuno’s puppy co-ordinator Becci has this to say about her:

“Juno is a very clever girl who loves life! She has a really good level of basic obedience especially when out in busy environments. She is confident in all places and on transport which is great for her assistance dog career. She can occasionally be cheeky, like checking out what her holders might be preparing for dinner or going to say hello to someone on a walk! Both these areas are being worked on and I’m sure given her age she’ll improve.

“She has had a couple of short holidays boarding with other Dogs for Good dogs and has done really well which is also a positive step for her future.

“She certainly makes me laugh on every visit I do with her, but I am pleased with her progress for her age.”

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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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