As many as 25% of homeless people in the U.S. own pets—and local activists want to lend a helping hand.
According to the Telegram.com news site, it’s often difficult for homeless people with pets to find shelter—simply because many shelters don’t allow animals inside. Not only does this deter the homeless from getting food, but it may impact pet health.
“Often the homeless choose to stay on the streets or live in cars to avoid having to give up a beloved dog or cat. It is difficult to find food for themselves, and feeding their pets adds to the challenge,” the news provider reports.
Local activist Dorothea Cassady contacted Ginny White of Ginny’s Helping Hands to help collect and distribute supplies to the pet-owning homeless.
“These people have been sleeping in their car since the beginning of March with their two dogs,” White told the Telegram.com of a homeless family. “They have a shepherd and a Chihuahua. That’s their kids. They will not give up their kids.”
White told the news provider she joined forces with Cassady because she also saw a need for this volunteer service and was worried about homeless pet health.
Genevieve Frederick, director of Feeding Pets of the Homeless, told the news provider that they’ve increased the number of distribution sites where the homeless can get food for their pets.
“We have distribution sites at food banks and places where homeless congregate,” Frederick told the news source.
Aside from getting help from Ginny’s Helping Hands, Cassady plans to reach out to veterinarians and other food drive services to join Feeding Pets of the Homeless.
The activists told the news provider that they will continue to do what they can to ensure good pet health, even for those without roofs over their heads.