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The Cinnamon Trust

by Neil Ewart FBIPDT

lady_and_dog.jpg       man_with_two_dogs.jpg

The simple act of our dogs being companions is so important and must never be underestimated.  I am sure that all readers of London Dog Forum are only too aware of the benefits that elderly people gain from their company.  For many living on their own, a pet can be their reason for living.

They are constant companions which can be on hand twenty four hours a day, every day, providing comfort and companionship and, in some cases, protection if only as a deterrent.

They do not criticise, they boost morale, they help reduce stress by providing emotional security, and they help provide a fixed routine.  We all know their ability to bring happiness and lift depression. Communication with other people is often easier with any animal but, in particular, a dog.

The special relationship with our dogs adds incalculably to the quality of life, but all the pleasures and benefits can be destroyed by the intense anxiety worrying about the fate of the pet should its owner die, fall ill or even move into residential accommodation where animals may not be welcome.

When a companion dies the fear of might happen to any replacement often means that the person decides to live alone and then suffers from the withdrawal of the huge benefits enjoyed in the past.

Life for them loses much of its warmth and purpose.

But, there is an organisation which seeks to relieve the anxieties, problems and even injustices, faced by many elderly and terminally ill people and their pets. 

The Cinnamon Trust was founded by Mrs Averil Jarvis in 1985.  Just as she was starting to form the organisation, her beloved Corgi died in her 17th year. And her name?  ’’Cinnamon’’ and what a nice memorial to remember her by.

Although The Cinnamon Trust was founded for elderly people, anyone of any age can make arrangements for dogs that might outlive them to come into the Trust’s care.

A national network of thousands of volunteers has been established to provide practical help, for example, walking a dog for a housebound owner.  A national fostering service is also available for owners who have to face a spell in hospital.  Volunteers take pets into their own homes and see to all their needs, both emotionally and physically, until owner and pet can be reunited.

Cinnamon Trust also provides long term care where owners have died or moved into accommodation that does not accept pets. 

When this occurs the owner is keeps through visits being made, when possible, or regular photos and letters.

There are also a limited number of volunteers who are able and willing to take on a pet for life.  Cinnamon Trust has established unique sanctuaries but these are not kennels.  There are no cages for these would only upset older and much loved dogs and other pets.  Instead there are settees and armchairs, large warm rooms with rugs on the floors. The routine tries to mimic that of the average household so that most very old dogs soon feel at home. At present there are two such sanctuaries, both in the West Country. 

The Trust does not make a charge for its services, but it hopes that pet owners who benefit from its work will make a contribution towards the course.  The Trust is dependent entirely on voluntary contributions.  It receives no state or local authority aid.

A summary of the Cinnamon Trust objectives would be “to Give Peace of Mind and Practical Help to People and to provide Love, Care and Safety for their Pets’’

So, how can readers of London Dog Forum help?

Any cash is obviously very welcome.

Spread the news!!  Their most pressing need is for volunteers to foster dogs .  This may be short or long term and does not need to be a big commitment. These are needed in BIG numbers throughout the UK and if you or a friend may be interested in finding out more please contact:

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The Cinnamon Trust
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