Meghan Markle may be focusing on motherhood during her maternity leave, but she still has her patronages front of mind.
The Duchess of Sussex, who welcomed son Archie with Prince Harry on May 6, wrote the foreword for Mayhew’s annual report. The animal shelter and charity was announced early this year as one of Meghan’s four initial causes that she will support in her royal work.
“As a proud rescue dog owner, I know from personal experience the joy that adopting an animal into your home can bring,” she writes.
Meghan, 37, continued by sharing why she chose Mayhew as one of her patronages: “The role that we, as people, play in rehoming and rescuing these animals is vital, but the role of organisations such as Mayhew is unparalleled. What initially struck me about Mayhew specifically is their community based approach not simply on rehoming animals, but in the preventative care that inhibits these cats and dogs from ending up in shelters in the first place.”
She encouraged readers to support Mayhew by volunteering, simply spreading the word or thinking about adoption.
“The choice to adopt a pet is a big decision that comes with much responsibility but infinite return on investment,” the longtime animal lover says. “It will undoubtedly change your life.”
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Meghan visited Mayhew in January, where she met a number of dogs being helped by the organization.
Meghan – who was “very natural with the dogs, as one needs to be,” according to CEO Caroline Yates – was very taken with one of the animals: a Jack Russell Terrier named Minnie that she held in her arms.
But the mom-to-be, with the reminder of her baby bump, didn’t let herself get carried away.
“We can’t take another dog before the baby as our hands are too full!” she said.
Before moving to London, Meghan had two rescue pups at her home in Toronto. Guy relocated with her across the pond while the other, Bogart, was gifted to friends.
During her visit, she talked about her beagle Guy, who had been previously mistreated and left to roam wild. “He was petrified to come in the front door. He didn’t know how to go up and down stairs” Meghan said. “All the things you’re patient with and then you end up with the best dog in the world.”
Harry and Meghan have also gotten their own dog together. Although they are still keeping the pooch’s name hush-hush, Meghan did let it slip that the couple’s new dog is a “she.”
The Duchess of Sussex will likely take a three-to-five month maternity leave, with possible public appearances sprinkled in earlier. She made her first post-baby appearance at Trooping the Colour earlier this month.
“She’s a workhorse,” a source recently told PEOPLE. “She’ll be working through her maternity leave, I just know her and I know that’s going to happen!”
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