Click here to print this page

Planning Retirement Online


You don’t need to own a pet to enjoy your love of animals


January 2019

Cute puppy
Guide Dogs’ Molly is looking for sponsorship

Having a pet is wonderful, but as we get older there are lots of reasons why owning a pet is not the best idea. It could be that you are lucky enough to be able to go on long cruises or trips away; or that you need to spend time away from home looking after grandchildren. Or it could be that because of health or financial limitations, owning a pet is not practical.

But today there are lots of ways to enjoy our love of animals without the commitment of ownership.

One idea that is growing year on year is the sponsorship of an animal. For just a very small investment, you can share the lives of a real animal, get updates on their progress and activities, and sometimes make a real contribution to help others too.

This is the case for instance with the British organisation Guide Dogs. When we were young it was called Guide Dogs for the Blind but the shortened name reflects the changes the organisation has made over the years and the broader range of services it now offers to people who have eyesight problems.

But despite the changes, the core activity of Guide Dogs is still the training and provision of the most wonderful guide dogs for people with limited vision. Now, as part of its new services, Guide Dogs is offering a wonderful sponsorship scheme to help train a soft and cuddly puppy right through to a responsible caring reliable guide dog. It costs just £1 a week and for that you can follow the progress of your selected puppy.

Guide Dogs sponsorship pack

For instance, at the moment young Molly is looking for sponsorship to help pay for her training. Evidently she is one lovely bundle of soft inquisitive fur but within two years it is hoped she will have matured into a caring adult dog that will be able to assist and respond fast to the needs of a blind or visually impaired owner...

To do this Guide Dogs is asking people to sponsor Molly for £1 a week. In return they will get regular updates on Molly’s journey from playful pup to responsible adult; a photo album and pictures of Molly, plus a personalised certificate, a magnet and a calendar...

Other puppy recruits looking for sponsorship including Milo and Charlie…it is a lovely idea to help provide the expensive training needed to get these dogs up to the level required. When you realise that there are almost two million people in the UK living with sight loss, these Guide Dogs are really changing people’s lives so any assistance given to this organisation is so worthwhile.
Find out how to sponsor a guide dog.

Another group which offers various animals for sponsorship is the WWF, the organisation with that famous panda logo. We used to know them as the World Wildlife Fund but are now the World Wide Fund for Nature.

They call their programme adoption rather than sponsorship, and here you can choose from a range of animals experiencing problems in the modern world, from elephants and tigers to turtles, polar bears...and of course pandas. In return you will receive fact packs, full updates three times a year, plus bookmarks, stickers and even a cuddly toy.

WWF offer various packages including £3 a month plus an option for one off payments instead.

Full details are at

From the books or TV films, Durell is a famous name associated with animal conservation; many of us will remember celebrated author and naturalist Gerald Durell and his passion for animals. Today Durell is not only a famous zoo on Jersey but it is also an international charity on a mission to save species from extinction.

As part of its ongoing campaigning, it offers a wonderful choice of endangered species to adopt, from lemurs to lowland gorillas to short clawed offers. For perhaps a one off contribution of £27 you will receive your chosen animal’s keeper’s letter, a fact sheet, certificate, photo and more. There are various levels you can upgrade to, including bronze, silver or gold when you will receive lots more up to your name on the website or a private tour to personally meet your adopted animal and its keeper.

Getting involved in the sponsorship of an animal can bring enormous rewards and open up a whole new world of interest. It can even lead on to volunteering roles for the charities involved.

There are a number of other organisations offering animal adoption including those below. It is worthwhile trawling the internet if you have interest in specific areas.


Back to LaterLife Interest Index

Bookmark This Share on Facebook Receive more like this

Latest Articles:

Gene therapy - the future of our health

scientist in lab

Gene therapy is hugely exciting. Whether it will fulfil its promise and in future years produce terrific treatments for many health problems we don’t know but at the moment, although still in its early stages, the results are very encouraging.


Art Masterclass
Spring Flowers

Step by step guide to creating a beautiful spring flowers landscape.


Listen free to uplifting joyous birdsong

Turtle dove

It is great news that we can now all enjoy natural birdsong at any time of day and night thanks to a new birdsong audio that the RSPB have put together.


Win great prizes in our current Competitions

Silver Travel

Click here to visit the competitions page.

Article Archive

The LaterLife Article Archive provides a comprehensive list of links, to all the current regular article series' as well as quick links to older articles.
Back to LaterLife Today

Visit our Pre-retirement Courses section here on laterlife or our dedicated Retirement Courses site


Advertise on