Cork dog charity celebrates support of national pet food company

A charity based in Cork that trains assistance dogs to assist physically disabled children and adults to carry out a range of practical tasks, is celebrating securing backing from the charitable arm of one of the UK’s biggest and most successful independent pet food companies.

The Burns Pet Nutrition Foundation, part of Burns Pet Nutrition, a family company in Wales that makes specialist foods designed for the health and well-being of pets, has unveiled three charities it will support in 2018.

One of these is Dogs for the Disabled, a charity based in Cork founded in 2007. Its aim is to improve the lives of children and adults living with physical disabilities in Ireland.

Its assistance dogs are specially trained to assist physically disabled children and adults to carry out a range of practical tasks in order to achieve greater independence. Every dog is trained to help with simple everyday tasks such as opening/closing doors, picking up dropped items, emptying the washing machine, sending for help or even helping a child with severe walking difficulties to walk with greater ease and balance.

Comprised mainly of volunteers, it receives no government funding to provide its service. As such, Jennifer Dowler founder of the Irish Dogs for the Disabled, said the partnership would make a big difference to the charity.

Jennifer said: “Burns is an exceptional food and all our dogs are fed on it and have been for the last seven years. We could not ask for a better diet for our very important dogs, from young puppies to our adult working dogs, they all seem to thrive on Burns. Getting chosen for Burns Charity of the Year 2018 is just the icing on the cake for Dogs for the Disabled. The funding will support three litters of puppies enabling us to help many more children and adults living with physical disabilities.”

The other two charities backed by Burns in 2018 are: Forever Hounds Trust, which matches greyhounds and lurchers to happy homes; and the UK German Shepherd Rescue, which rescues and rehomes German shepherd dogs.

The Burns Pet Nutrition Foundation has run the Burns’ Charity of the Year since 2015 in addition to other community schemes including Burns in the Community and Burns by Your Side, a scheme that helps school children improve their literacy and communication skills with the aid of trained volunteers and their reading dogs 

The chosen charities will receive free, healthy pet food which has been developed by Veterinary Surgeon, John Burns and has been feeding happy and healthy pets since 1993. The charities will also receive expert advice from Burns’ team of in-house nutritionists, joint promotional opportunities, and in some cases, financial donations. It supports the charities with free nutritional dog food, expert advice, joint promotional activities and financial donations in some cases. These new charities will replace the two charities it supported this year: the National Animal Welfare Trust (NAWT) and Appaws for Autism.

John Burns, Veterinary Surgeon and founder of Burns Pet Nutrition, said: “Myself and the Burns Pet Nutrition team are extremely passionate about supporting and giving back to the community in any way, shape or form possible – and the same goes for charities in need of the support they aren’t currently receiving.

“We are looking forward to working with the selected charities throughout 2018 and, hopefully, they will feel the benefit of the support Burns Pet Nutrition can offer. We’re proud to be entering our third year of running Burns’ Charities of the Year, and we look forward to the years to follow.”