Broken Biscuits is a charity with a big heart and a lot of love for animals of all shapes, sizes and differences. Their smallest canine ambassadors are making a huge impact when it comes to conversations around body acceptance too…
Words | Lucy Donoughue
I’ve always loved the notion that when you rescue a dog, they rescue you right back – and I’ve found that to be true many times in my life. However, after speaking with Founder of Broken Biscuits Cass Carney, I’m aware that this statement is way too simplistic. The truth is that when you give a dog a second chance at living a happy life, they can teach us all a thing or two about acceptance, resilience and difference.
Broken Biscuits is a phenomenal organisation, originally established in Molesey over a decade ago by Cass and her husband Tim. The charity actively supports disabled animals, specifically dogs who have been injured. Their core belief is that, as with humans, a life changing injury or illness need not be a life ending one.
All of Broken Biscuits’ amazing work started when Cass, who trained as a veterinary nurse, journeyed abroad with Tim, to support a neutering effort for stray animals in Eastern Europe. While working with these clinics as part of the Spay and Neuter Programme, Cass came across a husky who was severely paralysed and not available for adoption as the shelter believed it wasn’t possible for the dog
to live a normal life with a family.
This broke Cass’ heart and was the catalyst for a conversation about support aids and programmes for disabled animals. After some trials, Cass and her partner decided to adopt animals in need themselves and bring them to the UK for rehabilitation work and to find new, loving families.
“We rehomed disabled dogs, dogs with missing limbs, or blind and deaf cats and dogs. Just all the kind of ‘broken biscuits’ that people didn’t choose and that had great personalities and lots of love to give.” Cass shares kindly.
Over ten years later, Cass and Tim are now looking to build an 8-acre clinic in Lincolnshire to further expand upon their great work. Alongside their team in the Court, they continue to care for rescues, field applications for pet wheelchairs and mobility aids, and now they deliver talks in schools too.
“Our dogs teach the kids about differently shaped bodies and allow them to ask questions without embarrassment.”
The schools programme is aptly named Roll Models and has been such a huge success that it’s now booked up until the end of March 2023. Aided by some of Broken Biscuits canine ambassadors, these talks help students to understand the potential of life post injury and remove some of the misconceptions and fears around difference and disability.
“The school talks are mainly about body acceptance, bullying and inclusion,” Cass explains. “We’ve had a huge interest in them. Our dogs teach the kids about differently shaped bodies and allow them to ask questions without embarrassment.”
“We take in our two ‘roll models’ Otto and Phoebe,” Cass continues. “Students can come up and meet them, touch them and see where they’re missing the limb and the number of questions this generates is mind-blowing. It’s so much easier to broach wider topics of what happened, how they’ve healed and the importance of words you use when it comes to difference, when you start that conversation with
Cass is dedicated to educating people about animals living a long and happy life after disability, and Broken Biscuits work incredibly hard to support people whose own pets have suffered a life-changing injury too.
Like the school talks, they’ve seen a massive increase in demand for this help, “We get a lot of requests, almost hourly, for equipment such as the wheelchairs for dogs, and we have to buy each piece as the request comes in and they’re expensive.
“We support a lot of low-income families and elderly people who’ve got elderly pets, but they can’t afford the equipment, which means the two of them are stuck at home rather than getting out and seeing other people daily,” Cass shares. “And we don’t want that for them.”
So how can the Court community support this need and Broken Biscuits too? “Giving the gift of mobility is the greatest thing you can do,” Cass smiles. “We’d welcome any and all donations.”
For more about about Broken Biscuits and the incredible work they do, visit brokenbiscuits.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow these amazing animals: facebook.com/BrokenBiscuits.org
If you’d like to get the perfect meaningful gift for the animal lover in your life this Christmas, then why not make a donation to Broken Biscuits on their behalf?