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The Barney Fund


The Barney Fund was set up by Greyfriars in 2002 in memory of Barney, a mastiff cross, who was left tied to the gates of an RSPCA centre aged about 8 weeks.

Barney had badly deformed forelimbs and was unable to walk. After corrective surgery, the RSPCA contacted Greyfriars to see if we could help.

Greyfriars provided rehabilitation and hydrotherapy free of charge and found a foster home for Barney.

Barney was much loved by all our staff, his carers and our clients, many of whom made donations towards his medical costs.

Sadly as Barney grew it became clear that he had a very rare genetic problem affecting his bone growth. After a lovely and happy summer, Barney became very ill and we sadly had to say goodbye to him.

Looking after Barney made us realise that there is a need for funding for dogs who have no owners, or whose owners don’t have enough money to provide the specialist care needed for recovery.

The Barney Fund was started in his memory so that money would be available when dogs in trouble needed rehabilitation help.

Many dogs from all kinds of backgrounds have been helped by the Barney Fund. These include dogs from Pro Dogs DirectBattersea Dogs and Cats Home, the RSPCA, the Dogs TrustVigil German Shepherd Rescue and Labrador Lifeline Trust.

The Fund has provided part funding for long term care and paid for MRI scans, radiographs, outside foster care, veterinary fees including surgery, nursing help, animal ambulance transport and carts for disabled dogs.

Hydrotherapy and physiotherapy at Greyfriars have benefited many of the dogs helped by the Barney Fund. Providing rehabilitation has helped many dogs, who were not originally well enough or strong enough to be rehoming candidates, to find new homes.

The Barney Fund is administered by trustees on behalf of Greyfriars.

All of the dogs in the gallery below have been helped by The Barney Fund.

Hydrotherapy pool

•    10 x 5 metres - one of the largest in the UK
•    Size allows relaxed natural behaviour and motivation
•    Allows early rehabilitation where reduced weight bearing or load on joints is important - post  surgery or injury
•    Resting and treatment platforms allow physiotherapy treatment and massage in the pool
•    Heated to 29-30 degrees C - relaxing and pain relieving
•    Swim jets - for neurological input or to increase effort, build muscle and cardiovascular fitness

Water treadmill

•    Allows observation and filming from all sides
•    Allows early rehabilitation for spinal injury/surgery patients
•    Hydrotherapists can be hands on to aid correct gait
•    Water height can be adjusted to decrease/increase weight bearing
•    Water height can be adjusted to achieve movements we require
•    Speed and duration can be adjusted to achieve optimal gait
•    Useful for dogs that are nervous about swimming

Hydrotherapy can be used to

•    Decrease pain 
•    Increase sensory perception
•    Relax muscle tension or spasm
•    Reduce oedema (swelling)
•    Increase joint range of movement
•    Increase muscle bulk, strength and tone
•    Improve muscle patterning and recruitment - extremely important for spinal injury dogs learning to walk again
•    Prevent secondary complications as a result of limb disuse - muscle contracture, gait abnormalities
•    Help earlier return to normal life or work - important for assistance or police dogs
•    Slow the progression of the effects of degenerative disease - including osteoarthritis and degenerative myelopathy
•    Improve quality of life – especially for older or disabled dogs

Hydrotherapy Gallery

Courses Calendar

View dates, courses and costs on our calendar page


"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated."
- Mahatma Ghandi
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