Blue Cross uses dogs for mobile contactless fundraising

Howard Lake | 19 May 2016 | News

Animal charity Blue Cross has started to fundraise using dogs that wear coats that handle contactless donations from mobile phones.
The first dogs to join the Tap Dogs team are Smudge the golden Labrador; Maverick the border collie; Cherry the lurcher, Ralph the old English sheepdog cross and Rosie the chocolate Labrador. They are helping to fundraise at the charity’s public events across the country. Their contactless devices accept donations of £2.
A Blue Cross staff member said:

“Using a dog coat, we’ve sewn a pocket into it that holds the contactless payment device. Each time we tap the donation device it gives a £2 payment to Blue Cross”.

Blue Cross contactless device for Tap Dogs
The dogs have worn coats before and the device only makes a small bleep so the charity is confident that the activity will not distress the dogs.
The staff member added:


“We really like the idea of our events dogs that are lucky and loved in their homes to help dogs and other pets that are less fortunate. So hopefully members of the public will come along and pat our dogs and tap to make a donation to Blue Cross”.

All of the Tap Dogs are behaviour-assessed Blue Cross event dogs, owned by volunteers. They regularly visit events and schools to raise awareness of many different aspects of pet welfare but they have never before had the chance to play such a direct role in helping the charity raise funds.
Blue Cross claims that its Tap Dogs are “the world’s first canine fundraisers”.

Smudge the Tap Dog fundraising for The Blue Cross

Smudge at work for Blue Cross – pet and tap to donate £2.

The technology used to take contactless payment is PayPal Here. The device can only be activated by the volunteers and will only work when the chosen payment card is pressed up against the card reader; chip and pin, and swipe options are available, and volunteers can also provide receipts and issue refunds if required.