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Project information

Improving the lives of homeless animals

Help us to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome hundreds of homeless and abandoned pets. Your gift will allow us to offer care, shelter, training and veterinary treatment to animals going through a lonely and dark period of their lives. Most importantly, it will help us to unite them with a loving owner.

December 2018 - June 2019

Charity information: National Animal Welfare Trust

National Animal Welfare Trust logo
  • Need


    National Animal Welfare Trust rehome over 1,200 homeless animals every year.

    Rescue centres are often a last resort for pets in need and seen as unhappy environments for poor unwanted animals. We’re working to change that by transforming our centres into educational facilities, which offer every animal the enrichment and training they need for a happier future.

    Whilst still catering for every animal’s basic care requirements, we’re also improving their journey through rescue to a loving home.


    It is our belief that every animal deserves a responsible, loving owner and we strive to find that for all animals that come into our care.

    Our Open Paw training programme works to enrich the lives of animals during their time in rescue, train them and prepare them for life in a new home.

    Each of our centres has a dedicated veterinary practice on call, who vet check every animal in our care and advise us on any treatment they will require to offer them the best chance of a happy future.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Veterinary treatment to improve every animal's chance of a happier future in a loving new home.


    » Upon arrival into NAWT care, every animal is medically assessed. Help us to provide every animal both routine and urgent veterinary treatment.

    What success will look like

    Veterinary treatment can improve a homeless animal's chance of finding a loving owner sooner. Every animal will go home fully vet checked, vaccinated, neutered and micro-chipped.

    Aim 2

    Open Paw training for every cat and dog in our care.


    » Your generous support will help us improve the lives of animals during their stay in rescue, whilst providing training they can take to a new home.

    What success will look like

    Supporters are invited to visit our rehoming centres and take part in our Open Paw programme by feeding and interacting with the animals, helping to create positive associations.

    Aim 3

    To alleviate boredom for animals in the rescue environment and provide vital enrichment.


    » We supply every animal with maze or hunting feeders and enrichment toys to keep them active and mentally stimulated whilst in their kennels.

    What success will look like

    Daily enrichment reduces stress in kennels by allowing animals to exhibit natural behaviours. This keeps their minds focussed and helps to provide a calm, relaxed environment.

  • Impact


    An animal's time in a rescue environment, waiting for a loving home to call their own, can sometimes be a stressful and unnerving experience for a pet whose world has been turned upside down.

    Our project works to change that. It makes an animal's time in rescue an educational and enriching experience that will improve their stay with us and help to prepare them for life in a new home. More than that, it helps each animal present themselves better to potential owners and find a happy home sooner


    Occasionally animals will arrive into our care requiring particularly expensive medical treatment, such as life-saving surgery. In these instances we will run extra one-off fundraising appeals to help with the additional veterinary expense.

    Our Open Paw project relies heavily on teamwork from a variety of people, including staff, volunteers and visitors. We'll provide training and information to promote the benefits and successes of the programme to secure everyone's support and cooperation.


    Reporting will be at the donors discretion but we would invite supporters to follow our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages and to sign up to our mailing and email lists, so that we may keep them updated on the work of our charity and how their generous support has helped the animals in our care.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £40,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £28,200 Vet consultations & procedures To cover 10% of our annual veterinary expenses, which will pay for more than 600 consultations.
      £10,000 Volunteer Open Paw Training Open Paw training for approx. 450 volunteers. Cost includes training time, prep & course materials.
      £1,800 Kennel & Cattery enrichment To offer all six NAWT centres a £300 budget to pay for maze and hunting feeders and enrichment toys.
  • Background


    NAWT have 6 rehoming centres operating in counties across the south of England, including Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Berkshire, Somerset and Cornwall.

    Our founding centre in Hertfordshire dates as far back as WWII, when the site we now occupy was used to house animals during the blitz. The National Animal Welfare Trust, as it is today, was formalised as a charitable organisation in 1971 to address the urgent need for rehoming all types of animals in the area into responsible homes.


    The primary beneficiaries are the 1200 homeless animals we will help in the coming year, offering vital veterinary treatment and training to improve their lives and offer them a chance of a happy future in a loving home.

    It will also benefit people looking to rehome a pet by providing a good understanding of each animal's medical, exercise and training requirements as well as ongoing support and advice following homing.

    Finally, it will provide exciting, educational volunteering opportunities.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We've been helping animals for 47 years but are never complacent and constantly seek new, innovative ideas we can implement to improve our work and help more animals.

    Open Paw was one such innovation; originally developed in the US, we're proud to be UK pioneers for the project and recently given a seal of approval from Open Paw Co-Founder Kelly Gorman-Dunbar as ‘a centre of excellence and ambassador for Open Paw in the UK'.

    We operate a safe, non-judgemental environment and never stop caring.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Centre Volunteers

    Our dedicated volunteers are essential to this project. They provide wonderful care, training and enrichment to the animals in a time of great need.

    Animal Care Team

    Our hardworking and dedicated Animal Care Team provide crucial volunteer training as well as round-the-clock care for every animal at NAWT.

    Veterinary Practices

    We have wonderful relationships with the veterinary surgeries we work with, who offer our animals an unbeatable level of care and attention.

    NAWT Visitors

    Visitors to NAWT are an enormous part of Open Paw and helping animals find happy new homes. They help animals create positive associations with people

“You truly feel you are actually doing something worthwhile to help give the dogs a better chance of not only being adopted, but being happier whilst in the rescue centre.”

NAWT Volunteer