Robert Ely, a 72 year old dog owner from Fulham, shines light on desperate pet owners as the Mayhew charity launches Pet Refuge campaign.

Ely was told by doctors in December 2021 that he could finally have a date for his hip replacement surgery after enduring over three years of pain and discomfort. His main concern wasn’t about the procedure, but rather who would take care of his beloved companion and best friend Tiger, a West Highland White Terrier.

Ely had no family members or close friends nearby to ask for help, he was concerned that he may lose his best friend. However things changes when a local pet shop in Fulham suggested that he contact Mayhew to see if they can help.

“My first call with Mayhew was like a ton of bricks being lifted off my shoulders,” said Ely. He explained he would’ve felt very alone and scared if he wasn’t aware of Pet Refuge and the help they provide for pet owners in crisis. He added: “Mayhew’s new campaign to drive awareness for Pet Refuge will really highlight the how vital this service is for so many pet owners, just like me, across London.”

Tiger was collected from Robert Ely’s home on 9th December 2021 by staff from Mayhew and stayed with them for eleven days. Tiger was then placed with one of the charity’s carefully assessed and trusted foster carers who gave him a temporary home at their house in North West London.

Following Roberts operation and time to recuperate, Tiger was returned home on 18thFebruary 2022.

Mayhew has launched a new digital marketing campaign on 12th July with the strapline ‘There When Owners Need Care,’ and is targeted at London pet owners who desperately need help in a crisis. This new campaign aims to improve public awareness for the urgent need for temporary care and shelter for the pets of people facing a crisis, this could be due to an unexpected emergency or an ongoing issue.

The Pet Refuge campaign demonstrates the intimate bond between pets and their owners and shows why it is important that Mayhew is there to prevent any unnecessary separation to avoid this bond being broken.

Actors including Ben Miles, Emily Raymond and Jos Vantyler feature as voiceovers of pets rating their experience of Pet refuge in the original campaign.

Howard Bridges, Interim CEO of Mayhew said: “Robert and Tiger’s story really shines a light on the worrying lack of pet boarding programmes or support for pet owners in crisis and when they most need help.”

“It is especially important, particularly in this challenging economic climate, that older pet owners with limited financial resources know there is help available for them,” added Bridges. He concluded: “We hope our new campaign will help to shine a light on the service and ensure desperate owners know they have somewhere to turn.”

Find out more about Tiger’s Pet Refuge story on YouTube here

Find out more about the campaign: