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Dog fosterer’s volunteering sparks artistic passion
“I don’t know how many [dogs] I have now painted. Dozens anyway. I’ve gifted many of them to the new owners as a good luck present.” - Jo Heather
Jo Heather has fostered nearly 100 dogs.

An accomplished dog fosterer has rediscovered her passion for painting, as she nears a milestone 100 dogs fostered for Dogs Trust.

Jo Heather, a mother-of-two from Salisbury, began fostering for Dogs Trust in 2017, inspired by her daughters’ love of dogs. However spending time with the fostered dogs also reignited another love of Ms Heather’s, as she rediscovered her love of painting.

As a fosterer for Dogs Trust’s Home from Home foster scheme, Ms Heather volunteers to provide a temporary home for dogs while Dogs Trust searches for a permanent home. This can mean caring for a dog for a few days, or even several weeks.

Ms Heather soon found that, during quiet times when the dogs were asleep, she was inspired to sketch and paint them.

Ms Heather said: “I started thinking: I’ve got a little bit of time here – the dogs are happily sleeping so I can sketch them and paint away and that’s how it happened really.
 
“I don’t know how many [dogs] I have now painted. Dozens anyway. I’ve gifted many of them to the new owners as a good luck present.”

The Home from Home scheme is funded by Dogs Trust, with support of players of the People’s Postcode Lottery. So far, players have contributed over £20.6 million for Dogs Trust.

The charity also runs another foster scheme, Freedom, which fosters the pets of owners which are fleeing domestic abuse. As some refuges do not allow dogs, fosterers care for them until their owner is able to be reunited with their pets.

Dogs Trust says that the need for pet fosterers has never been greater, as they report over 45,000 handover calls received in 2023.

Abbi Moon, head of rehoming central operations at Dogs Trust, said: “This year, foster carers have been more important than ever before. We had over 45,000 handover calls last year because dog owners are facing so many struggles, including the cost of living.
 
“We have 21 rehoming centres, but our kennel space is stretched, and we don’t see that easing any time soon.
 
“Thanks to volunteers like Jo, and the players of People’s Postcode Lottery, we can have kennels ready for the next dog who has nowhere else to go. We couldn’t be more grateful.”

Image © Dogs Trust

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Rabbit Awareness Week set to return this summer

News Story 1
 Rabbit Awareness Week (RAW) is returning this summer, running from 24-28 June 2024. The theme for this year will be 'Healthy Diet, Happy Bunnies'.

The focus on rabbits' diet comes after the most recent PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report report revealed that 42 per cent of veterinary professionals identified inappropriate diet as one of the five most important rabbit welfare issues that need to be address.

The campaign will include veterinary blogs, videos, and digital waiting room resources. Practices can sign up to receive updates about RAW. 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
CVS Group hit by cyber attack

CVS Group, which owns more than 450 veterinary practices in the UK, has been hit by a cyber attack.

In a statement, the group said the incident involved unauthorised external access to a limited number of its IT systems. As soon as the attack was discovered, the group took its IT systems temporarily offline, causing 'considerable operational disruption'.

It has warned that the security steps taken and ongoing plans to move its operational systems and IT infrastructure to the Cloud are likely to have an ongoing impact over a number of weeks.

Due to the risk that personal information was accessed, CVS has informed the Information Commissioner's Office. The company is working with third party consultants to investigate the incident.