This past week was Homelessness Week and we've been out and about delivering pet food and supplies to community groups helping people in need. This is how we met little Dee Dee (above), one of the beneficiaries of our pet food deliveries. Sometimes a stroke of bad luck is all that is needed to for someone to find themselves homeless and in need of support.
Many experiencing homelessness also have pets and are sometimes forced to choose homelessness over parting with their treasured family member and soul mate when resources are scarce, and rentals and crisis accommodation aren’t pet friendly. This includes people living in their cars and tents with both dogs and cats. A pound and shelter system that is fraught with problems and not safe for vulnerable animals does not help the situation. After many horror stories and media exposes' the NSW government is finally undertaking an Inquiry into pounds.
We need to do more to prevent vulnerable animals ending up in pounds and shelters. The situation has sparked a new focus for Head Over Hooves: to help people and their pets who are doing it tough in our community to stay together and avoid ending up in a pound or shelter. Mental health benefits of having a pet are well documented. Animals are our family and are with us through the highs and lows. We don’t want to see those who are less fortunate or vulnerable having to give up their animals. They give us unconditional love, companionship, warmth, security and support during difficult times and can be essential for our health and well-being. For someone experiencing homelessness, they may feel that their pet is their sole reason for living.
With support from the community, we are working to keep people and pets together during hardship by keeping community centres stocked with pet food and supplies, and when funding allows, providing help to access urgent vet care and medicines.
If you would like to help vulnerable people and their pets stay together please consider making a gift using this secure link.
Ps. When we check in with community centres to see if they need more food the answer is always "Yes!! - dog and cat food, anything you can spare. It goes out as soon as it comes in". Please make a gift today so we can continue to support these vulnerable animals. $5 will buy a bag of cat food, $35 can feed a dog for a month.
Some of our visits and drop offs for Homelessness Week 2023.