Spotlight Bolton: Reflections from a partner visit to Paws for Kids

From left to right: Robbie Marsland IFAW UK Director, Julie Hilling MP for Bolton West (with Dylan), Yasmin Qureshi MP for Bolton South East, David Crausby MP for Bolton North East  (with Derek), Carole Marsden Paws for Kids Project Manager, Eddie Thompson Pet Foster Care VolunteerOn the train coming back from Bolton in the North West of England where I have been visiting the IFAW-funded Paws For Kids project, I'm thinking what a horrible place the world can be and how proud I am that the International Fund for Animal Welfare is able to do so much good for animals and people.

Paws for Kids was started by a group of women who recognised that there is a gap in the provision of services to women and their families who need to escape from violent homes. While refuges take in women and their children, they cannot take in their pets. Animals have to be either left behind and risk suffering at the hands of the violent man or be given away or even put down.

Often women remain in a violent relationship rather than have to abandon their family pets. That's where Paws for Kids comes in. They have a network of volunteers who offer a pet fostering service and peace of mind for women and their families at a time of dire need.

IFAW is very proud of the work Paws for Kids does and has funded them for the past five years. Today I was up in Bolton to announce this year's funding and to take part in briefing three local MPs about the excellence and importance of the project's work. 

The three MPs, David Crausby, Yasmin Qureshi and Julie Hilling heard all about the project from Carole Marsden, the project's director and most importantly from two current users of the service and an animal fosterer. They told of how important their family pets were to them and how they could not have successfully left their violent partners without the pet fostering help. 

It all got a bit emotional and there wasn't a dry eye in the house.

Paws for Kids needs more fosterers - so if you live in the North West, contact IFAW UK at and we will put you in touch with Carole and her remarkable team. 


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Cora Bailey
Director, Community Led Animal Welfare (CLAW)
Cynthia Milburn, Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
Senior Advisor, Policy Development
Ellie Milano, Program Officer, Community Animal Welfare
Program Officer, Community Animal Welfare
Gail A'Brunzo, Manager, Animal Rescue-Wildlife
Manager, Animal Rescue-Wildlife, IFAW HQ
Jan Hannah
Northern Dogs Project Manager
Kate Nattrass Atema, Program Director, Community Animal Welfare
Program Director, Community Animal Welfare
Veterinarian, DVM, PhD
Veterinarian, DVM, PhD
Manager, Animal Rescue-Disasters