Coronavirus statement from Blue Cross Chief Executive, Sally de la Bedoyere
Blue Cross prides itself on having never once closed its doors to pets in need since our charity was founded in 1897. Neither world war forced us to shut down, and our doors remain open now. But right now, our services are temporarily limited.
The coronavirus lockdown we are facing today is not something any of us expected, but it is a situation every single member of staff and volunteer is working hard to cope with, so we can continue to help as many pets and their owners as best we can. I’d like to thank my teams who are working under enormous pressure, but remain dedicated to the animals in our care, as always.
The measures put in place by the government over the past few weeks, and the new stricter rules set out last week mean that we’ve had to limit our services. We need to follow the stay at home advice to keep our teams, pets and the public safe. Below is an update on how we are currently able to operate. We will be keeping this page up to date so we can keep you updated with what we’re doing in this unprecedented situation.
We have put in place temporary measures for some of our services while ensuring that we continue to provide emergency patient consultations at our veterinary hospitals in London and Grimsby. Our mobile service is also suspended. Our clients can still get lots of help from our teams through online and telephone consultations.
Check our veterinary pages for the latest information including details of the service, contact details and opening times.
Rehoming and behaviour
We continue to focus all our efforts during this time on the welfare of the pets in our care at our centres and through our foster carers. Thank you to all our amazing foster carers who are now looking after nearly 60 per cent of the pets in Blue Cross care.
We are really pleased to share that we have adapted our usual rehoming process to be able rehome pets in our care who are ready. The new process ensures the safety of our customers, our teams and the welfare of our pets, while meeting the government’s social distancing guidelines.
As such, we are now able to accept applications for a small number of pets including horses.
We continue to be temporarily closed to new admissions, apart from pets admitted via our hospitals or our Pets into Care scheme, who we will do everything we can to accommodate.
If you need to speak with someone for advice about how to maintain the welfare of your pet during these difficult times please give us a call.
Once the lockdown is lifted and we get to a manageable number of pets in our care for the lower levels of people in work to look after them, we will re-open admissions and rehome pets most in need where we are safely able to do so.
It is critical that we keep our people safe as well as the pets in our care, thank-you very much for your continued understanding and support.
As our Education Team is unable to carry out its usual visits to schools, clubs and youth groups, we are providing a virtual service with online talks. We are creating materials that parents and teachers can use while the country’s children are homeschooled, and these will be available soon on our website.
Our Pet Bereavement Support Service continues to provide this vital service as usual, as our teams are home-based. Our trained volunteer listeners are available by phone or email for anyone who wishes to speak to an understanding person about pet loss. Our helpline is confidential, and available to anyone experiencing pet loss, whether they are pet owners, veterinary staff or workers at animal organisations who need support at this time.
Charity shops and eBay
We had to close our charity shops temporarily (from Saturday 21 March) to comply with the social distancing measures, and cannot take any clothing donations at this time.
Our eBay shop is still open for business.
Support, information and donations
There are still lots of ways you can show support for our pets so do continue to browse our website. We’re updating the site with the latest advice and information to help owners care for pets during periods of isolation and stay at home measures, and you can sign up for Covid-19 email updates. Do keep an eye on our social media channels as we will be sharing advice there too.
If you are able to help with a donation, it would be particularly appreciated at this time. The best way to do this is via our website rather than by phone.
We are hugely grateful for the level of support and understanding we have received from our supporters so far, from all across the country. My teams have been passing on to me the well wishes you’ve been sending to them. It is making a huge difference to know you continue to be there for us, and I’d like to thank you very much.
We will continue to work hard to make sure we’re here for as many pets and their owners as we possibly can be at this unprecedented time.