They will do this when this relationship is threatened by the impact of the owner’s terminal illness, advancing age or acute cancer treatment.
Rosie’s Trust is a unique Northern Ireland registered charity with the principle aim to enable owners and their pets to stay together. Rosie’s Trust believes that the bond between an owner and their pet can be extremely strong and for many individuals their pet is their only constant companion, providing security and helping to alleviate emotional isolation.
The charity was formed in response to need across Northern Ireland and Bronagh O’Neill, Founder and Operations Director is proud that the charity offers a bespoke, and free of charge service, to enable people to continue the relationship they have with their pets, often at a time of great stress and ill health.
Central to Rosie’s Trust’s success are the diverse team of volunteers who support people who are terminally ill, cancer patients, and older people who have pets but who are unable to look after them independently. They visit people in their own home, to carry out the everyday pet care tasks that they are no longer able to carry out. The service operates 7 days a week 365 days of the year, and each beneficiary has between two and six volunteers assigned to them depending on their needs.
Rosie’s Trust beneficiary, Noreen Breen from North Belfast was recently featured in an article by Belfast Live. She is still able to have her dog, Snowie, live at home with her thanks to volunteers from Rosie’s Trust. Noreen’s physical frailty means she can no longer walk her little rescue dog and without help, her only alternative would be to have Snowie rehomed.
Noreen said: “If he was rehomed I’d just die of heartbreak and loneliness for him and I don’t think Snowie would be too pleased either. He’s the boss in my house and he knows it.”
She said: “Unless I had the girls from Rosie’s Trust walking Snowie, I couldn’t keep him. His health and happiness is what keeps me going every day.”
“I found out about Rosie’s Trust at a club I go to for people who’ve had cancer. They suggested I looked into getting help to walk Snowie and now I have four volunteers, Janice and her daughter Emily, Claire and Lizanne and between them they get him all the exercise he needs.”