The thousands of unwanted pets Blue Cross care for every year have always relied on the pet lovers who work and volunteer at the charity to look after them, help them find happy, loving homes and raise funds towards their care… until now. This month a special group of Blue Cross dogs are lending a paw to help raise money for fellow pets as the world’s first canine fundraisers. 

Blue Cross Tap Dogs, a new team of furry, four-legged fundraisers, have been equipped with contactless card technology built into their specially-designed jackets. The simple, lightweight kit means that, for the first time ever, dogs can do their bit.

Anyone wishing to donate can simply “pat and tap the dog” to make a standard £2 donation using their contactless payment card – or speak to a human volunteer if they’d like to give a different amount. 

The first team of Blue Cross Tap Dogs to launch the scheme are: Smudge the golden Labrador; Maverick the border collie; Cherry the lurcher, Ralph the old English sheepdog cross and Rosie the chocolate Labrador.

All of the Tap Dogs are behaviour assessed Blue Cross event dogs, owned by dedicated volunteers. They regularly visit events and schools to raise awareness of many different aspects of pet welfare but they have never before had the chance to play such a direct role in helping  the cats, dogs, horses, rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, mice, guinea pigs (and many more) that Blue Cross cares for every day.

Tracy Genever, Blue Cross Head of Education Services said: “Our fundraising and events activities are so crucial to helping make sure the pets in our care can be healthy and happy, and we are incredibly grateful for every penny the public gives. With today’s increasingly “cashless” society, it made sense to introduce a contactless option to those wishing to give to Blue Cross. And who better to help us than some of the amazing events dogs that help to raise awareness and inform Britons about the work we do. These wonderful dogs really are the best ambassadors we could possibly ever hope for.”

Anyone wishing to meet one of the Tap Dogs and donate will be able to find them at events during May. The next outing will be with Smudge the golden Labrador, who will be at the Merton Dog Watch at King George’s Playing Fields, Morden between 12pm and 1pm on Saturday 21st May; and Rosie the chocolate Labrador, who will be at Pets at Home in Swindon between 11am and 1pm on Saturday the 28th May. Dates thereafter will be announced in due course.

May also sees Blue Cross back on the small screen with a TV advertising campaign, which aims to raise awareness of Blue Cross and encourage viewers to support the vital work the charity does for sick, injured and homeless pets.  Staring the much-loved fictional abandoned dog Baxter, the heart-warming ‘tail’ takes viewers on his fantastic journey to find a loving home; all with a little help from a host of unexpected furry friends.


For more information, photos, video or interview requests (human or canine) please contact the Blue Cross press team at Cow PR on 020 7234 9150 or email [email protected]

Notes to Editors

To view the video of the tap dogs please go to: and share online using the hashtag #patntap 

About the Tap Dogs
All “Tap Dogs” are Blue Cross event dogs and specially trained and behaviour assessed to visit various locations, including public events and schools, where they help raise awareness of Blue Cross, pet welfare issues and education; they are always accompanied by their owners, who are also trained volunteers.

The technology used to take contactless payment is PayPal Here. The device can only be activated by the volunteers and will only work when the chosen payment card is pressed up against the card reader; chip and pin, and swipe options are available, and volunteers can also provide receipts and issue refunds if required.

About Blue Cross
Sick, injured and homeless pets have relied on Blue Cross since 1897. Abandoned or unwanted, ill or injured, pets turn to us for help every year. Our doors are always open to them, and with your support, they always will be.

Each year, thousands of cats, dogs, small pets and horses turn to our animal hospitals, clinics and rehoming services for treatment and to find them the happy homes they deserve.

For more information, please visit 

Media contacts:
Cow: 020 7234 9150 or email [email protected]

— Page last updated 28/01/2021