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Old July 13th, 2005, 07:18 PM
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Homeless people with dogs

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??
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Old July 13th, 2005, 07:26 PM
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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.
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Old July 13th, 2005, 07:30 PM
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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. . . .
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Old July 13th, 2005, 07:33 PM
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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.
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Old July 13th, 2005, 07:54 PM
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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!
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Old July 13th, 2005, 08:18 PM
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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.
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Old July 13th, 2005, 09:13 PM
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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....
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Old July 13th, 2005, 09:37 PM
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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.
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Old July 13th, 2005, 09:38 PM
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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!
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Old July 13th, 2005, 09:43 PM
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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:
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Old July 13th, 2005, 09:52 PM
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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...)
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Old July 13th, 2005, 09:57 PM
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You can bet that dog would rather be in the cold with his friend than in a warm place without him.
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Old July 13th, 2005, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pags
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??
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Old July 13th, 2005, 10:07 PM
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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?
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Old July 13th, 2005, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by db7
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?)
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Old July 13th, 2005, 10:08 PM
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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.
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Old July 13th, 2005, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDG
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.
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Old July 13th, 2005, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prin
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
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Old July 13th, 2005, 10:14 PM
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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.
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Old July 13th, 2005, 10:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prin
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
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Old July 13th, 2005, 10:32 PM
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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.
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Old July 13th, 2005, 10:40 PM
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Heh heh... Kind of sad, but there is no furniture on the street that the fur will clash with.
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Old July 13th, 2005, 10:41 PM
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What do you mean by this? What do you plan to do?
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Originally Posted by LavenderRott
Thanks for the idea
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Old July 13th, 2005, 10:54 PM
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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!
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Old July 13th, 2005, 11:11 PM
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Well, at least whatever you are up to won't hurt anybody...

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.
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Old July 14th, 2005, 12:04 AM
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What was a beautiful story pags. Thank you.

THAT story is pure friendship.
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Old July 14th, 2005, 12:20 AM
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This is really a neat thread. Thanks JDG!
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Old July 14th, 2005, 06:17 AM
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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.
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Old July 14th, 2005, 07:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glasslass
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
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Old July 14th, 2005, 07:16 AM
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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.
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