Sheila from Durham tells us why Wag friends are important.

Our aim is to end loneliness for older dog lovers.

Launched in May 2016, we match and enable professionally assessed volunteers and their special dogs (Visiting Wag Teams) to safely befriend elderly dog lovers across the North East. 

Our vision is that no-one should miss friendship and the company of a dog and our belief is that once we reach 1,000 Visiting Wag Teams, evenly spread across our region, we can credibly believe we’re making a meaningful difference to this substantial problem for the elderly in our communities. 

Our mission

To end loneliness by enabling professionally assessed volunteers and their special dogs to befriend elderly dog lovers in the North East.

Our vision

No older person misses friendship and the company of a dog.

  • 51,000 North East pensioners are lonely all or most of the time

  • Many are dog lovers; 36% of NE households have a dog

  • Loneliness is as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day

  • No other visiting dog charity visits people in their own home

Our values

The way we do things is just as important as what we do. Our values matter and we are working hard to make them come to life in everything we do.   


Competently delivering our Mission and Vision, effectively managing risks and safeguarding, accountable and compliant in everything we do. Giving everyone affected by our lovely service, directly and indirectly, confidence in our ability to deliver safely, effectively and consistently.

Passionate and compassionate

Putting our older friends and volunteers at the heart of everything we do, everyone treated with the same care, respect and dignity that we would expect for ourselves and our own loved ones.


Breaking the mould, approaching challenges with creativity and determination to succeed. Continuously monitoring performance and seeking improvements in everything we do.

Authentic and transparent

Being true to who we are; our mission, our values and our brand; our words always matching our actions. Trusted to keep our promises, to do what we say we’ll do, how and when we say we’ll do it. Completely open in our communications, proactively sharing information about our performance, the impact we’re having and how we spend the money people raise to fund our special service. Seeking feedback from all quarters and always answering any questions honestly and within expected timescales.

A community

Enabling a group of dog lovers, each playing their own part, to reduce loneliness and loss in elderly dog lovers in their community. Some of us have special dogs and give up our time to share them, some of us organise things and keep it all safe and some of us have lost our dogs and can’t have another one and really miss a furry friend to cuddle. All of us understand what it feels like to lose a dog and a friend.

Making a difference


Making a difference

Our costs are kept low by our volunteer leadership, our donated offices and volunteer uniform and as you can see they are primarily staff costs to ensure an appropriately safeguarded service.  2022/23 was the last year of The National Lottery funded digital project enabling us to become a sustainable organisation into the future, appropriately skilled and equipped to finance tens of thousands of visits to vulnerable people on an ongoing basis. 


Our year...

Wag has developed significantly since we launched in 2016, and whilst COVID-19 was a big bump in the road for us and other charities, we’re slowly getting back on track.  Our Annual progress update - often referred to as the colour supplement of the more formal Annual Report and Accounts - tells you how we did in 2022/2023 and shares some of our highlights from that year!
Making sure everyone can see at a glance how much we raised, how we spent it and how much of a difference it made, is very important to all who support Wag.