The charity Underdog International has set up an initiative which redeploys their volunteers and resources to support local dog owners – including in North Dorset – in need due to the impacts of the coronavirus.
The initiative called ‘Underdog Unity’ facilitates a network of volunteers across the UK who can be matched with people who need help caring for their dog – whether that be walking their dog, shopping for food and supplies, taking dogs to the vets and even caring for the dogs for extended periods in their own homes. Many of the volunteers already signed up are dog behaviourists or dog walkers by trade, and all others have experience with looking after their own dogs.
The charity is calling on additional volunteers from across the country to help support dog owners in their local area who may not be able to leave their house due to their current circumstances.
Nadine Kayser, founder and CEO says: ‘With altruism at our core, we felt we should divert our resources and volunteers from our normal tasks, to the more immediate and essential support of our communities sucvh as Gillingham. So, we have paused our therapy dogs programmes and reduced our dog rescue and adoption projects.
‘I am delighted that we have all the processes and communication channels needed to run the Underdog Unity essential service for dog-owners in need at this unprecedented time.’
If you have experience with dogs, whether that be professionally or personally, and would like to volunteer, you can register here www.theunderdog.org/become-a-unity-volunteer.
All Underdog Unity volunteers are vetted and have received guidance and training to ensure they understand the responsibility of their role in looking after someone else’s dog.