Homeless veterinary care scheme helps 10,000th dog

25th April 2024
Industry News

A scheme to provide free veterinary care for pet owners who are either homeless or at risk of becoming so has supported its 10,000th dog.

Officials from the Together Through Homelessness project, which is run by Dogs Trust, estimate they have now provided more than 30,000 free treatments since its launch 30 years ago.

The initiative also works with the providers of services for homeless people to make them dog friendly.

‘Faithful companion’

James Hickman, Dogs Trust’s head of outreach projects, said the organisation was “proud” of the project’s record.

He added: “For many people experiencing homelessness, their dog is more than just a faithful companion; they are family.

“We don’t believe anyone should have to choose between their dog and somewhere safe to sleep, which is why not only do we provide free health care to the dogs of those experiencing homelessness, but we also work closely with service providers to ensure pet friendly support is available at every step of the housing pathway.”

A survey carried out by the charity two years ago found 70% of homelessness professionals surveyed said their clients had experienced barriers to services because they had a dog.

Thousands per year

One organisation whose homelessness services have been expanded through the scheme is St Mungo’s, which works with thousands of homeless people every year.

Natalie Rose-Weir, service manager for its Kensington and Chelsea branch, said: “St Mungo’s is proud to welcome pets. We have seen the benefits of our clients being able to be housed alongside their pets, including improvements in their mental, physical, and emotional health.

“Pets are a part of the family – we do not want to split them up in the search for stable housing.

“It has been beautiful to witness many clients and their pets, to see the love and bonds between them, and to see their relationship grow as they find stable accommodation.”

More information about the project is available at www.dogstrusthopeproject.org.uk


Credit to:  Homeless veterinary care scheme helps 10,000th dog (Vet Times)

Vet Times. (2023).  Homeless veterinary care scheme helps 10,000th dog [online]

Available at:  https://www.vettimes.co.uk/news/homeless-veterinary-care-scheme-helps-10000th-dog/