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Homeless people with dogs

JDG
July 13th, 2005, 08:18 PM
So I live near where Juste Pour Rire is going on here in Montreal, alot of the streets are closed and blocked so after work its gridlock trying to get to my building.

Because of the traffic and the waiting I rolled my window down - which appears to be an invitation for every homeless person to come to my car and beg for money.

I have to pass by that park near Berri Uqam station - I must have counted 15 dogs in that park today belonged to homeless people.

What is everyone opinions about the homeless owning pets?

Is it a good thing?? as the animals all look very happy and content.

A bad thing?? I'm sure most are malnourished.

What can we do to help the pups??

Dogastrophe
July 13th, 2005, 08:26 PM
I am certain that for some of them, their dog is their one true friend in life. It never looks down on them, doesn't know that they are homeless, and provides unconditional love 24/7. There was a guy with a dog in Halifax a few years ago who always had his pack filled with dog food. From the looks of the two of them I think that the dog ate better than he did.

I recall watching a program a while ago involving a lady from, I believe, the Toronto SPCA who would deliver bags of food for them and try to educate them on S/N.

JDG
July 13th, 2005, 08:30 PM
I know what you mean. . . but still so many people on this site work so hard to find forever HOMES for animals - and these animals, even though they are loved don't have homes. . . .

Prin
July 13th, 2005, 08:33 PM
There is a homeless man on my way from the train to school with the shiniest, happiest looking doggy. I was wondering what to do for him, and then I thought, how about some cookies? Or a can of Merrick's? So tomorrow morning I'll decide.

I think those dogs are lucky to have a person so devoted to them, and a lot of people spend the biggest chunk of the money they get on the doggy.

If I had ever gotten into vet school, I would definitely have started a vaccination program for them...

Oh and this is from a thing above the door of my grandparents' cottage:
A house is made of brick and stone,
But a home is made of love alone.

babyrocky1
July 13th, 2005, 08:54 PM
Iwork near Queen Street West in Toronto, so you all can imagine how many homeless people I see with dogs, thing is the dogs do actually look pretty healthy and happy, depending on the homeless person, ofcourse. I guess cause the dogs are out around people and other dogs all the time theyre usually really friendly! I always pat them and sometimes give thier person money! Lately Ive been warning the homeless people about getting a muzzle for their "pit Xs. in time for the ban! Thats another worry cause they would be the first people that would lose their dogs!

nymph
July 13th, 2005, 09:18 PM
There is this homeless woman in downtown Ottawa who's taking care of a GSD cross. I often see them at corner of Kent and Albert, they often just quietly sitting at the corner, the dog is very well behaved. She'd constantly keep the water bowl full of fresh water. The dog is obviously loved, so is the person. It's a very touching scene, and never ceases to amaze me.

There used to be another homeless also in downtown Ottawa, a man with a very cute Husky with a bandana. They often appeared at bus stops, and it seemed that they made some good friends too.

Prin I completely agree with you that a home is made of love alone.

Lissa
July 13th, 2005, 10:13 PM
I used to see a homeless man with his huge malamute/shepherd cross as soon as I got off the bus every morning. They obviously kept each other company and warm throughout the colder months. The guy wasn't very friendly but if you mentioned the dog he was became a proud, bragging parent. At first I brought him some dog food and every once and a while I would slip some food in there - but I think it embarassed him. Anyway, one day a couple of years ago, I got off the bus and his dog was gone. I never had the heart to ask him and he's moved on now. But the day I got off the bus and didn't see his dog snuggled up was one of my most difficult times.

That being said, I have observed some homeless people using their dog(s) as a ploy to get money. There have been quite a few that have a dog for a month and then all of a sudden its gone.

I wonder where the homeless people take their dogs at night?? Do they sleep outside with them - I don't see the shelters allowing dogs but I could be wrong....

db7
July 13th, 2005, 10:37 PM
Everyone can benefit from owning a dog. Everyone has a natural right to own a dog. Wealth or social status, home, no home is irrelevant.

You can be sure many dogs owned by homeless people -with the dog 24 hrs/day- get more attention and care than those with working people that see their dog in passing twice a day for an hr.
By extension, dogs are legal property, any suggestion that 'society' has a greater right to the dog, implies that any homeless person has lesser right to their property than the state. NO WAY.

pags
July 13th, 2005, 10:38 PM
Oh man.. So many examples I can think of!!! I'll pick this one:

There was a particular homeless man who I had encountered regularly on my trips to New Orleans who had a dog. He spent most evenings out in front of a 7-eleven and would ask people for money in exchange for putting air in their tires or cleaning their windows, etc. My friends and I always gave him something -- money or food. Some of my friends would only give him food (which he immediately shared with his dog -- and the dog got the lion's share too) because they noticed that whenever they gave him cash he would just stand there until they left. They all said he must be waiting to buy booze or some such. Being a college student I rarely had a whole lot of money in my pocket -- but on one particularly cold night (cold for New Orleans..) I had just received a cash gift.. and I knew what I should do with it when I saw that 7-eleven. So I brought him the money and I asked him if I could use it to get him a hotel room for the night. He seemed really really uncomfortable with this and immediately my more cynical friends started saying they were right -- he wanted to buy booze. He finally said with tears in his eyes that it wouldn't be right to take the money for a hotel -- but asked if I could find a dog kennel still open so his friend could spend the night somewhere warm. We were dumbfounded of course. So he explained it to us this way -- He said that he was homeless through his own neglect and stupidity -- but his friend was homeless through someone else's alone...

Oh and by the way -- all those times he would stand and wait for his benefactors to leave? He wasn't waiting to buy booze.. he didn't want them to see him buying dog food as he was afraid they wouldn't help again.

I wonder if it's such a bad thing then... I don't really know - practically it seems that it must be. But on another level -- geee!! If only there were more of THAT to go around!

babyrocky1
July 13th, 2005, 10:43 PM
Thats such a touching story Pags, I assumed the part about the dog food, but that he would spend the money on shelter for his"friend" thats just soo wonderful! :love:

Prin
July 13th, 2005, 10:52 PM
Wow, Pags, that was a great story. That's the story I would like to believe is behind every homeless person with a dog.

All I know is the one I pass every day on my way to school always has food out and the dog doesn't eat it. Seems to me, if he was neglected or starving, he'd pig out... :) (and he wouldn't be so shiny...)

db7
July 13th, 2005, 10:57 PM
You can bet that dog would rather be in the cold with his friend than in a warm place without him.

JDG
July 13th, 2005, 11:05 PM
He said that he was homeless through his own neglect and stupidity -- but his friend [dig] was homeless through someone else's alone...


Thats what I was thinking while stuck in traffic - is this life fair on the dogs???

Love is only a small portion of the equation. If we liken dogs to children (like most of us do) we are required to provide them with the basic 'human needs' water, food, shelter, love. Is this broken chain less meaningful because not all the basic needs are met?

I live in Montreal, and lets say it gets a tad cold in the winter - what happens to these dogs then??

I have really only come across homeless people who use their dogs to help their own cause and needs. . . .

But then again, the Berry Uqam homeless all feed the dogs Iams (as far as grocery store pet food goes, its the most expensive) ~

What about when they need a vet??? How do they pay for it, do they even go to a vet??

JDG
July 13th, 2005, 11:07 PM
Good point about the muzzle for pit/pit crosses. . . as a side note: what is a leash? is there a definition of a lead/leash??

I've seen homeless people using a bit of rope. . .is that good enough for the law?

JDG
July 13th, 2005, 11:08 PM
You can bet that dog would rather be in the cold with his friend than in a warm place without him.

Quoted for truth!

I agree with you totally - but the question still remains. Should homeless people be allowed pets if they can't provide the all the basic needs (i.e. shelter?)

Prin
July 13th, 2005, 11:08 PM
That's why, even though I know that vets don't get paid that much, I wish some would group together and offer services to these doggies.

Prin
July 13th, 2005, 11:10 PM
I agree with you totally - but the question still remains. Should homeless people be allowed pets if they can't provide the all the basic needs (i.e. shelter?)I say yes. Just like having a yard doesn't promise a good home, so does having a roof. I think if the homeless guy can handle it, the dog should handle it even better. If he can't, you can bet he'll find somewhere to go and keep his companion with him.

JDG
July 13th, 2005, 11:12 PM
That's why, even though I know that vets don't get paid that much, I wish some would group together and offer services to these doggies.

that would be great! It could be a 'project' for a vet school or something, spay and neuter all the homeless animals. . . it would be such a good service for the community, especially somewhere like Montreal

Prin
July 13th, 2005, 11:14 PM
Not just spay and neuter though. I'm thinking blood tests, vaccines, the works. Even if it's just once every two years instead of every year. :)

JDG
July 13th, 2005, 11:21 PM
Not just spay and neuter though. I'm thinking blood tests, vaccines, the works. Even if it's just once every two years instead of every year. :)

Good point! I guess I was trying to have a 'realistic wishful thought' (is that an oxymoron???) thinking that s./n program could be the first step! :P

LavenderRott
July 13th, 2005, 11:32 PM
I dare say, some of these dogs with homeless people get more love and better care then some of the dogs with families living in big houses. How many times a day do we come here and read posts about a family pet that is old or has some type of disability, has gotten bigger then planned, shed on the furniture or whatever else the poor dog "did" to get rehomed?

I can not imagine being homeless. Having no friends. No place to sleep at night. No one to talk to. People walking around me like I have the plague. Not being able to buy but maybe one meal a day. Not being able to take a shower. To have a dog would be to have the world!

And yes, something should be done to take care of these dogs. And their people. Thanks for the idea.

Prin
July 13th, 2005, 11:40 PM
Heh heh... Kind of sad, but there is no furniture on the street that the fur will clash with. :D

Prin
July 13th, 2005, 11:41 PM
What do you mean by this? What do you plan to do? Thanks for the idea

LavenderRott
July 13th, 2005, 11:54 PM
What do you mean by this? What do you plan to do?

Don't exactly know yet. But when I have it all figured out - I'll let you know! :D

Prin
July 14th, 2005, 12:11 AM
Well, at least whatever you are up to won't hurt anybody... :D

Seriously, if I had gotten into vet school and my passion for doggies never faded, I would have done it. I mean if there are 50 homeless doggies in Montreal, and you do it all at cost, vaccinating them all would be around a grand, no? A lot of people can spare a bit together to end up with a grand.

marko
July 14th, 2005, 01:04 AM
What was a beautiful story pags. Thank you.

THAT story is pure friendship.

glasslass
July 14th, 2005, 01:20 AM
This is really a neat thread. Thanks JDG!

Karin
July 14th, 2005, 07:17 AM
The first vet I worked for years ago was a rough & gruf man on the outside, he scared little kids...(I kid you not!)..but he had a heart the size of Texas.

One month after I was hired a homeless man brought his mutt in with a cut on his pad, He told Dr. B. he could not pay for any services but would work in exchange. We had a back room that needed cleaning out, it had been used for storage & was a mess. Doc had this man clean it out, throwing much of the garbage away, we not only treated the dogs paw but neutered & vaccinated the mutt. It took a good day and a half for this guy to do the job..he was tireless, I had to beg him to stop long enough to down a sandwich. Underneath all the boxes & stuff in this room was a little kitchenette & bathroom, this room served as a night room at one time for the vet on call. Doc talked this man into moving in and working full time, doc had a knack for seeing a certain "spunk" in animals and people. This man was homeless no more and he stayed on becoming the kennel manager and one of the best, reliable employees Dr. B. ever had. Dr. B. became the only vet around to treat any pet of the homeless, always in exchange for light work & he always fed them too. Not one of these people denied to work, but always did the chores eagerly. They need to feel a purpose too. I learned alot from that vet, not just about animal care but human care also.

JDG
July 14th, 2005, 08:13 AM
This is really a neat thread. Thanks JDG!

Thank you!

I love the fact that everyone has different opinions and its all been very civilized

marko
July 14th, 2005, 08:16 AM
Wow another beautiful story Thanks Karin.

and thanks JDG for posting this thread that yielded these great stories.
after a few days of playing badcop this was a great thread to read.

JDG
July 14th, 2005, 08:19 AM
Ok then, everyone thinks that homeless people deserve their pets. Fair enough. . . . . . . .

here is another question to ponder:

1. If as a community of pet lovers - what can we do for these dogs??

Obviously as Prin suggested, a health & s/n program would be ideal - but perhaps too big of an undertaking for one person.

What can each of us do in our own neigbourhoods??

I guess the easiest thing would be food/water. . . what is everyone else's ideas/suggestions.

JDG
July 14th, 2005, 08:21 AM
and thanks JDG for posting this thread that yielded these great stories.
after a few days of playing badcop this was a great thread to read.

Thanks Marko. . . .

. . . .You deserve a vaction! Good job with the site, even if you don't get told everyday - we all appreciate what you do.

BMDLuver
July 14th, 2005, 08:21 AM
For me personally, the bottom line is the following:
Is the dog loved? Is it fed? Is it given water? Is it handled with compassion?

There are so many people living in beautiful homes who treat their dogs abominably that I don't think owning a home really matters.

JDG
July 14th, 2005, 08:22 AM
Dr. B. became the only vet around to treat any pet of the homeless, always in exchange for light work & he always fed them too. Not one of these people denied to work, but always did the chores eagerly. They need to feel a purpose too. I learned alot from that vet, not just about animal care but human care also.

What a great idea! I wonder how many vets and rescues could implement this work idea. . . . everyone wins in this situation!

JDG
July 14th, 2005, 08:25 AM
For me personally, the bottom line is the following:
Is the dog loved? Is it fed? Is it given water? Is it handled with compassion?

There are so many people living in beautiful homes who treat their dogs abominably that I don't think owning a home really matters.

Yes. Thats true, but as I said earlier - should we liken pet ownership to having children (most of us call our pets our children anyways :love: )

There are basic needs you HAVE to provide your children with, why should pets be any different?? Food, Water, Shelter, Medical attention, stiumulation and of course love!

I guess this question becomes - if you can provide most of the basic needs is that enough? Or should all parents, of fur or skin babies have to be able to provide ALL the basic needs???

That being said - there are plenty of people who shouldn't be parents!! :rolleyes: ;) :cool:

BMDLuver
July 14th, 2005, 08:29 AM
That being said - there are plenty of people who shouldn't be parents!! :rolleyes: ;) :cool:
Agreed.

If a program gets going to help homeless people care for their pets then count me in to be of some service. I'm not sure in what capacity but would be more than happy to help out.

marko
July 14th, 2005, 08:44 AM
Ok then, everyone thinks that homeless people deserve their pets. Fair enough. . . . . . . .

here is another question to ponder:

1. If as a community of pet lovers - what can we do for these dogs??

Obviously as Prin suggested, a health & s/n program would be ideal - but perhaps too big of an undertaking for one person.

What can each of us do in our own neigbourhoods??

I guess the easiest thing would be food/water. . . what is everyone else's ideas/suggestions.

Yes I think food and water is probably the easiest solution, and THAT is something that I am going to do today. Most of us probably have cars - and if not we surely have napsacks. I will be buying a big bag (or small tins) of food today and when I see a homeless person with a dog I will offer them some pet food (probably with a coin or 2 ;) )

If anyone does start this type of program it would be my pleasure to help publicize it on www.pets.ca

Thanks again!
Marko
ADMIN

BMDLuver
July 14th, 2005, 08:57 AM
What if flyers were put up around the areas that homeless people with pets have been spotted? Then maybe a certain day of the week, someone could be available for a few hours to hand out food for the pets? Some leash donations, etc.. Kind of like the food kitchens ie. Benedict Labre House in Montreal?

JDG
July 14th, 2005, 09:47 AM
I think thats a brillant idea. . .I just think it might be hard to get something up and off the ground. When you think of all the other areas of charity and public funding - we are such a small sect, and probably would be put to the bottom of the pile, so to speak. . . we pet lovers need to band together and fend for ourselves!

I think this is a matter of what each of us can do in our own neighbourhoods. . .

I have some of those Purina 30 day challenge coupons worth upto $10 off a bag of food. I thought perhaps I would give those to the group that live at Berri Uqam. . . .

JDG
July 14th, 2005, 09:50 AM
ohhhhhhh! Had an idea!

Lucky Rescue, need your input on this one. How about having a drive in conjunction with Adoption days??? Perhaps we can donate the food etc to a rescue, say Lucky Rescue :D , and the flyers that BMD suggested are put up in areas where we know homeless people with dogs are, then they get to the adoption day for the donated food & supplies etc. . . .

poodletalk
July 14th, 2005, 10:12 AM
The Bond Fondation is working with Dans La Rue "Popps" to get their animals sterlized with up to date vacination. Their are also veternairns who donate their time to help these animals through Dans la Rue.I believe they also give out food to these kids for their animals.

JDG
July 14th, 2005, 10:14 AM
The Bond Fondation is working with Dans La Rue "Popps" to get their animals sterlized with up to date vacination. Their are also veternairns who donate their time to help these animals through Dans la Rue.I believe they also give out food to these kids for their animals.

Where is the Bond Foundation? Quebec? or is it a National organisation?

Sounds like a worthy cause! How would one go about donating or offering to volunteer??

Can you post some details Poodletalk?

Karin
July 14th, 2005, 10:19 AM
Being as how I am so far away it is not practical for me to donate food but whoever will be chief in charge of donations send me a snail mail address and I'll send a check to go towards the cause.

I donate to the local Humane Society here and they never turn down anyone homeless and in need of pet food. They maintain a special "pantry" for this purpose alone.

Sometimes the local area vets hold clinics, donating their time and materials for minor problems. Unfortunately these clinics are far & few between.

Maybe some local vets can do the same in Canada?

poodletalk
July 14th, 2005, 10:25 AM
The Bond Fondation is runned by the sweetest and nicest lady possible, Dorothy Bond. She helps to pay for spaying and neutering animals at no kill facility. I believe she pays 75% and the group pays 25%. She is helping out 6 groups in Quebec. Besides this, she also helps Dans La Rue to encourage street kids to get their animals vacinated and sterilized. She also helps out independent rescuers by giving them a reduced rate on sterilization and first vacinations. She also is willing to help out indiviuals who have animals but cannot afford to spay or neuter them, by giving them a reduced rate.

It would be great if you would like to volunteer, she's always looking for people to help her. Her website is: www.bondspayneuter.com Her group is right in Montreal...if anyone is interested in helping her you can always give her a call.

JDG
July 14th, 2005, 10:32 AM
Thanks poodletalk,

I've copied this from the website:

How You Can Help

There are many ways in which you can help to reduce animal suffering caused by over-population:

¨ Veterinarians Needed

We require more veterinarians to participate in our Spay/Canada program. Please speak to the veterinarians you know and stress the need for their contribution to their community or call us at the number below and we will call your veterinarian.

¨ Promote Spaying/Neutering
Speak to your friends and neighbors and explain the importance of sterilizing their pets. Fixed animals fight, spray and stray less. They are more content. Fewer strays mean a cleaner healthier environment for pets and people.

¨ Become a Volunteer
If you have a few extra hours each month, there is a tremendous need for volunteers to help care for abandoned animals. Shelters are desperate for dog-walkers, cat huggers, office help and cage cleaners. If you wish to volunteer, give us a call and we will direct you to a nearby “no-kill” animal care center that will value your contribution.

¨ Make a Donation!

Donations Needed -- We receive some regular funding, but it is limited, and the need for our service is great. Therefore, we must solicit additional financial aid from the public. When you donate $15 or more, a tax receipt will be provided. Please help us to reduce the number of suffering, unwanted animals! All your donation will be applied directly to helping animals.

Leave a Legacy -- Legacies are gifts you can make to The Bond Foundation for Animal Welfare in your will. They may be in the form of stocks, bonds, money, physical property or objects of value. We use legacies to make sound investments in the Foundation’s name to provide regular income that will help animals for years to come. The next time you look at your will or have it updated, please think of all the animals you can help.

nymph
July 14th, 2005, 04:19 PM
What a wonderful story Karin! Big "thank you" to Dr. B! :angel:

babyrocky1
July 14th, 2005, 05:44 PM
Wow, another inspiriing story, thanks Karin. :)

Kariia
July 14th, 2005, 05:56 PM
I knew a homeless person with a Golden.

She got fed some cheap, low quality dog food maybe once a week-but she was beautiful, friendly, and did not look malnourished at all.

Love plays a big part in a dog's life. If you don't love them, they will die soon.

babyrocky1
July 14th, 2005, 06:00 PM
Wooops, I just realised I missed this whole page! You guys have some great ideas! I think the Toronto Humane Society has "ffod banks" for pets. Im not sure if its easily accessible for the homeless folks, but at least they are trying something and I believe there are cat rescues here or around TO that spay and nueter "homeless cats" Personally I try and donate food for the pets as I go, but something more organized is a great idea for Toronto as well!

babyrocky1
July 14th, 2005, 06:08 PM
Good point about the muzzle for pit/pit crosses. . . as a side note: what is a leash? is there a definition of a lead/leash??

I've seen homeless people using a bit of rope. . .is that good enough for the law? Yes there is a definiton of a leash, Im lousy at getting links but all of the specifics are under the pit bull coop. The whole law is there and in other places but I think your just asking about the homeless people so, that is another concern, they will need an appropriate leash, I think its around six feet, I need to check it myself but I just dont want to give it that much attention til I have to. Maybe a Pet Store would like to donate some of these things for some good media attention but, then again, its probably too controversial for most of them :sad:

heeler's rock!
July 14th, 2005, 11:28 PM
I agree! What a great thread, full of great stories and ideas! :) Karin, there's a vet I know of in Calgary who has done the same for people who can't afford treatment for their animals. I wish more vet's cared about the health of the animals, rather than the money!

Prin, I chuckled at this:
That's why, even though I know that vets don't get paid that much, I wish some would group together and offer services to these doggies.

My hubby volunteered for a vet clinic, and the holistic vet made over $80,000 a year! This was 5 years ago, so she probably makes more now. Sounds about right because a one hour consultation with her for my oldest dog cost me $200.00!!! Maybe they don't make a lot in Que., but here they make a killing, and I've only heard of one willing to offer their services to someone's pet that needed it without taking money. He just asked the girl to work it off at the clinic!

The idea you presented wasn't funny though. It was a great idea! How awesome would it be if we could get like hearted vets together to donate services other than just s/n. Not that that doesn't help a lot, it's just that dogs need more medical care than that. :o

Prin
July 14th, 2005, 11:52 PM
I agree. If of all the hundreds of vets per province (I mean there are vets on almost every corner in Montreal), there was 5 who could donate services, that would make a huge difference. It doesn't make sense that dogs who are inside all day have to be vaccinated without a doubt and those who are living out with rats and garbage can be overlooked. In my ideal world, we'd have pet medicare... And I'm not shy to pay extra taxes for it. :)


The vets I know, though, don't make too much money here. Supposedly the French are not as willing to pay for procedures as the English are, as historically, the French were not as wealthy and had huge families-- not much money was left over for pets.

mafiaprincess
July 15th, 2005, 12:46 AM
This thread is awesome and makes me a little teary eyed. It's awesome though how caring everyone here is.

I've never actually seen a homeless person with a pet even in TO, but maybe that makes me sheltered. I did see one years back in my hometown, but never really thought about it.

I would so pack doggie biscuits and maybe stock up on food samples for ease of giving away if I did see homeless people with dogs.

Everyone's suggestions and stories are heartwarming. :love:

kandy
July 15th, 2005, 02:45 PM
Being in a really small town, we honestly don't have any 'street' people. We have some shelters for battered women and troubled teens but no true homeless. Living off a main interstate, and having a railroad station, we do have transients during the summer months. They will sit on a corner for little while with a sign asking for a ride or money, whatever and then move on. I don't stop very often, but if they have a dog I will definitely stop. If I see that the dog has water, I'll give them money. If the dog doesn't have water, I still give them the money but when I give it to them I always ask them to feed the dog too. In most cases, I'd bet that I didn't really need to tell them to feed the dog. If I was all alone in the world, I would definitely give everything I had to keep a dog. I'd bet those dogs are alot more loved than a lot of pets who do have homes. I know that the vets in my area donate their services for strays that animal control picks up, but I don't know if they'd give transients services in return for work done or not. It sounds like a good cause and sorely needed in too many places.

Shamrock
July 15th, 2005, 04:29 PM
A fantastic thread! How completely heartwarming these stories are.. and how equally heartwarming to see how members here are so caring, and ofering ideas to assist. Kudos to you for that! :angel:

The issue of homelessness is a very disturbing and real issue in all major cities. More needs to be done, and I find it laughable that here in my city, the answer was to lock the dumpsters (so as not to offend the tourists with the mess created) and make illegal to approach anyone stopped to offer window washing, etc or to panhandle. ( wonder how they expect them to pay the fines?) Remove all sources of revenue while offering nothing in it' s place :(

When society shuns you, an animal welcomes you with love and comfort.
I think the unquestioning devotion of a dog would be appreciated by homeless people in a way that others simply could not grasp.

However, the fact that a person is homeless does not "guarantee" that they are a loving and able pet caretaker - any more than any one "group" in society. They may be or may not be, but the lack of a home "does" equate into it - in some instances ( imo).
Its a sad reality that a percentage of the homeless have mental health problems, and/or substance abuse issues. This certainly doesnt negate their right to have a dog in any way.. but it "might" hinder their abilty to provide proper care in SOME cases.
If judgement/ reasoning are severely affected, the person suffers. And if they have animals... they may too. Untreated, they may become progressively more ill, less able to care for themselves, much less a pet. And for the homeless the dangers pose more risk by far.

Another troubling aspect for "this" segment of the homeless is that they are often in out of various rehab facilties and psychiatric hospitals - even jail. (petty crimes can be borne out of desperation) These are not always planned (or optional) stays.

What happens to their dog? Are they impounded?
How tragic this would be for both :sad:

Here, food banks have dog and cat food available, and the local SPCA's also will provide food for anyone who is unable to buy it.

A highly publicized case last year involved a woman who was living in a car whose dog was seized.
I believe there were other factors, but it raises the question - can a car be fairly considered a home?

Karin
July 15th, 2005, 06:42 PM
Florida has a large population of homeless people. The climate is warm and we are basically at the "end of the road" so to speak. I have seen entire familys living out of their cars, including children & pets. Just about every city has a shelter & Salvation Army...but there is still not enough to go around.

A stunning fact, almost 40% of the people in the US are only one paycheck away from poverty. This does not count the ones who are already homeless.
Many cities try to evict the homeless, one was Key West. Recently, when hurricane Dennis was threatening the island with high winds & a storm surge of over 20 feet'...some good hearted soul (don't know who) bused the homeless out of harms way.
I hear many good stories about the homeless, very rarely do we hear any horror stories that concern crime, that they commit. But last month there was a terrible crime 2 counties over from me, 3 teenage boys beat to death a homeless man because they were bored. They are going to be tried as adults.

Homeless people are not ogres. They are p e o p l e. They have feelings.
Some are on the street by choice, most are just down on their luck.

We have many programs in place here to help but it never seems to be enough.

Helping them should become contagious.

CyberKitten
July 15th, 2005, 07:12 PM
:) Oh Karin, that story about the vet you worked for in Texas brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful story!

And btw - I forget who it was asked what we would do about the dogs - homeless ppl also are great cat owners too, we need to be inclusive.

glasslass
July 15th, 2005, 07:13 PM
I have to share a story about a homeless man I met at the weekly Farmers' Market. Dogs are not allowed at Farmers' Market but no one ever objects when I carry Den-Den in his Bjorn baby carrier (like a backpack you wear in front - I've posted a pix previously in the bikeriding thread). He didn't have a dog, but he commented on Den-Den and started a conversation. He must have been 70 or 75, maybe even 80, hard to tell, very clean, small & wiry, French? Anyhow we got into a lively conversation about dogs which he said he loved. This man was very articulate and seemed well-traveled. He had made his living previously in the Merchant Marines. He admired my half gloves that my Mom knit for me (wonderful for biking) and said he'd like to find a pair in orange to match his socks. He had other colors. Anyhow, I told my Mom about him and she knit an orange pair for him which I took back to Farmers' Market the following weekend. All the vendors know him. Every week he helps the vendors set up and tear down again, in exchange for a couple dollars. Evidently, he lives under the outside stairwell of the nearby church. The church members tried to set him up in an apartment but he wouldn't have any of it. So they allow him to stay on the property and he picks up trash, pulls weeds, etc. When I finally found him again, he was so pleased with the orange half-gloves. He was just thrilled that someone had knit them for him. He's homeless by choice. He's already old, but quite spry. I wonder what he'll do if his health declines. That was about 4 years ago and I haven't run into him again since.

glasslass
July 15th, 2005, 07:21 PM
CK, I saw a elderly, homeless woman in San Francisco. She was pushing a shopping cart with her possessions in it. When I walked past her cart, I saw 2 adult cats inside with a bag of catfood in the corner. They were contentedly curled up together in the middle of a blanket. At the time, my astonishment was all about how content they were to be pushed on the busy street, like in a baby carriage. My Puss-Puss would have freaked out. She didn't even like being carried off our property in my arms. Now I kinda wish I had given her some money, but at the time, I wasn't prepared and we just had passed each other going opposite ways in the crosswalk.

Karin
July 15th, 2005, 07:34 PM
:) Oh Karin, that story about the vet you worked for in Texas brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful story!

And btw - I forget who it was asked what we would do about the dogs - homeless ppl also are great cat owners too, we need to be inclusive.

Umm, just to clarify, I worked for DR. B. in Brevard county..on the east coast of Florida. He had a heart the size of "Texas"..(actually bigger!)

I use to go back for visits but it has been a long while. Dr. B. died in the late 80's from complications of diabetes. The clinic still operates the same way as it did way back when..Dr. B.'s associate bought the practice, Gloria, Dr.B.'s daughter went to U of Fl. vet school and joined the practice her father started.
I may have mentioned Dr. B. before here. He's the vet that was once a MD, he gave up a very lucrative career to work with animals for less.
When he hired me..no experience whatso ever, I inquired why?
He said " I would rather dodge sharp little mouths than listen to them."

*note..Dr. H. who bought the practice is the vet who had anal gland material shoot & hit him in the back of his throat*

You may go back to your dinners now....

Britishvixen21
July 18th, 2005, 09:33 AM
Im in Toronto, and id be happy to help with something if it was set up. WE have several long term homeless people in our area, one particular gentlemen by the name of Dave, whenever I see Dave i always give him a cigarette and buy him a sandwhich, we saw him once in the park (we go to look at the doggies) and he was telling us that he once owned a dog and took great care of it.

I know that THS does have a food bank that is very easily accessable, however that is the only thing in the city that I know of. Dave was telling me that he has a bus deliver him food everyday. the next time I see him i am going to ask him if he knows of such a service with pet food.

Any ppl that want to start something in TO let me know, maybe we can cavass the local supermarkets to give us damaged cans of food or something. My hb works for sobeys and I know the store manager pretty well I couls speak to him??

Golden Girls
July 24th, 2005, 01:42 AM
Today's Montreal Gazette:

"True love on the streets" Unlike most shelters for the homeless Dans la Rue's day centre and emergency shelter allows dogs to enter with their owners. They supply dog food and treats.

Also each month Dans la Rue partners with Universite de Montreal veterinary school and offers free animal clinic at the day centre :pawprint:

StaceyB
July 24th, 2005, 02:03 AM
The problem I have is with seeing these homeless???, though many here are not homeless but still hang out and beg for money. Anyway I see several with puppies. If they can't take care of themselves how come they are getting puppies.

Maya
July 23rd, 2006, 07:03 PM
Unfortunately there are irresponsible people at all financial levels. I don't think anyone should take on a pup or kitten if they can't take care of it however I suspect many homeless people fall into caring for abandoned animals they come across and get very attached. It is heart breaking that they often can't give them the care they want to. No matter what a person's financial status they still deserve the basics of life ie food, shelter, unconditional love, no matter what it was that lead up to their being without these things. Our social services in B.C. will turn down people for help if they don't have an address, appropriate I.D., a phone and many other ridiculous reason's. It's a real problem that is man made, there is enough to go around to all our friends furry or not.

[edit] Oops I didn't realize I was bringing back an old thread here:P

Puppyluv
July 23rd, 2006, 07:13 PM
I have met some homeless people who are sooo responsible with their pets. I just met a 24 yo woman last week who was a saviour to the abused GSD X she rescued. But, thanks to some homeless 20 somethings that reside on the streets near me, who have trained their dogs to be agressive and attack, Layla is now PETRIFIED of street dogs. She will litterally no longer walk down certain sections of certain streets for fear of these dogs. It breaks my heart, because she goes into major submission, sits down, cries, ears back and down, tail between legs, she even wet herself a couple of times. This is all very recent, within the past two or three weeks, all because a few street dogs have lunged at her and successfully latched on, despite the fact that I put myself between where the dogs were and Layla, but their owners allowed them to keep going (they were all unleashed) and completely ignored my presence. There was no where for Layla to go, and she got attacked. I got us out of the situation asap, but it wasn't fast enoguh. :(

Maya
July 23rd, 2006, 07:47 PM
:( Poor Layla, hope she's doing better now. She shouldn't have to be afraid like that. Perhaps those people can be reported? It sounds like those dogs might be better off without their owners if they are acting out like that.

LM1313
July 26th, 2006, 03:29 PM
Poor Layla, I'm sorry to hear that! :(

Around here the homeless people all have really well-behaved dogs, which I never really thought about until this thread. I think as long as someone homeless is loving their pet and providing it with food and water, they should certainly be allowed to keep it. There are so many dogs dying in shelters already, that would certainly be the fate of many of those dogs if they were taken away from their friends. Being cold at night but loved and fed > dying. Also, those must be some of the least lonely dogs in the world . . . Their buddy is always with them. :)

I'm one of those Americans whose a couple paychecks away from homelessness . . . I can keep going as long as my check is coming, but if I were fired, I would have to find a similarly paying job VERY QUICKLY. And I've got to wonder . . . if I did become homeless and didn't have family around to support me, what would I do with my animals? I couldn't get rid of them, but cats are not exactly adapted to street life and I doubt if homeless shelters accept people with pets . . .

Stacer
July 26th, 2006, 04:08 PM
A homeless man here in Toronto just had his dog stolen and the community is rallying around him to help him get his dog back. They think that someone probably thought he wasn't being properly cared for and took him while the owner had him tied up briefly. It's sad, that dog is probably that man's only family, and it sounds like the dog was well cared for despite living on the street. I hope that he gets his dog back, and the people of that community are great for helping him out.