Homeless Dogs Initiative Launched in London
A group of London volunteers have launched the capital’s first ever ‘doggy-stop’ facility which will provide service for pets living with homeless people on the streets of London. The initiative, known as the Dogs on the Streets (DOTS) project will provide rough sleepers and their beloved pets both free veterinary check-ups and grooming advice once a week. They’ll also ensure that food is supplied and training advice provided for those who need it.
From 2pm-4pm every Sunday on The Strand, volunteering vets and dog behavioural specialists will be offering their expertise to ensure homeless dogs are getting everything they need especially when taking into consideration the harsh realities in which they have to survive.
Michelle Clark – DOTS project leader – had the following to say to the Big Issue on the new venture, “To a homeless dog owner, their dog is their world. They will quite often put the needs of the dog before their own, they love and care for them that much. So my ultimate goal is to have regular stations in all major UK cities, run by professional volunteers, to give them a helping hand.”
Many Big Issue vendors and former vendors have spoken of both the pleasures and struggles of caring for a homeless pet. Michelle said the new initiative will provide essential care including ear cleaning, worming and micro-chipping thus enhancing the love, attention and basic care homeless people can give. She said, “Quite often homeless people are forced to feed their dogs human food, whatever they can get their hands on, which can be harmful to dogs. Our service should help limit this with the weekly provision of dog food. Services like dog training are essential too, as street dogs often don’t have socialisation skills.”
The team at DOTS are also offering an in-house ID tagging service which will record the details of every dog they see to ensure both their legal status and prevent them from going missing in the future. “Our collar tags protect the dogs if they get lost, or if the owner gets ill, or even if they move on and the dog attends a new vet” explained Michelle.
Dogs on the Streets obviously relies heavily on public donations and voluntary help from the public, visit their website to find out more by clicking here.
Images courtesy of E5 Dog Photography.