A Scottish mother has set up a unique new charity tackling both the rising number of animals in shelters and loneliness in old age after her young son prompted her to champion animal rights.
Give a Dog a Bone… and an animal a home supports elderly people who are struggling to afford to feed their pets and therefore face giving up their animal companions.
The charity also works to re-home animals in shelters with older people, assisting them with the associated fees and pet food costs.
In just three months, Give a Dog a Bone has found homes for 15 animals across Scotland – shelter animals who desperately needed to find a loving home and animals who faced being placed in a shelter if no home was found.
Louise Russell, who lives in Glasgow, was motivated to set up an animal charity after her son Liam, now eight, convinced her to become a vegetarian.
She said: “Liam was just four when he suddenly developed a conscience about eating animals. For two months he refused to eat any meat or fish. We put it down to ‘a phase’ but at the age of seven it began to really bother him again. This time I told him if he was serious I would support him and we would give up meat together.
“Liam’s commitment to becoming a vegetarian made me look at animals in a whole new light. I had always been a supporter of charities and was keen to give something back.”
It was after a chance conversation with an elderly neighbour that Louise had the idea of bringing animals and the elderly together with Give a Dog a Bone… and an animal a home.
Louise added: “At the end of our chat, my neighbour said ‘thanks for that Louise – I haven’t spoken to anyone for days’. It made me acutely aware of how lonely life can be for many elderly people.
“Pets are constant companions and can bring welcome relief from loneliness in old age. They can provide their owners with the motivation to rise in the morning and also with the feeling of being needed.
“We want to make the love of an animal more accessible to our Seniors, and help some rescue animals in the process. Please support us in our aim to help our elderly benefit from the love of a rescue pet.”
To find out more or make a donation visit www.giveadogabone.net