Owning a dog is, sadly, a significant barrier to getting people off the streets. Less than 10 per cent of hostels across the UK will accept dogs, meaning that many owners are denied access to shelter and support, simply because they have a pet. Even in Severe Weather Emergency Protocols (SWEP) it is sometimes impossible to access a shelter with a dog. We don’t think it’s right that you have to choose between your caring for your companion and having somewhere safe to sleep.
After a conversation with a rough sleeper during a particularly bad weather last December where he described turning up in the snow and freezing temperatures, only to be turned away when he wouldn't leave his dog outside, we knew we needed to find a sustainable solution.
Street Paws' innovative kennels project will pay for and install specially-built, triple-insulated dog kennels into hostel grounds
This means that the owners can keep their companions with them on-site. We will also provide bedding , food and other pet essentials. Our mission is to work our way across towns and cities across the UK to build kennels wherever they are needed. So far we have installed kennels in Manchester, Leeds and Northumberland, supported 16 animals, and prevented 12 people from becoming homeless. We need your help to allow us to expand this vital support into Wolverhampton, where homelessness is steadily rising.
Where will your money go?
Your donation will enable the Street Paws team to install a double kennel on-site at Enterprise Home Group’s night shelter in Wolverhampton. A double kennel costs £6,120 to buy and install, and could help 30-40 homeless people per year to get off the streets and into safe overnight accommodation. We have no paid staff and are entirely volunteer run, so every penny goes straight to helping homeless people and their four-pawed companions.
The Street Paws Team
Street Paws is led by our founder, Michelle Southern. Michelle is a former veterinary practice manager who founded the charity in 2016 when she was volunteering at a soup kitchen and realised that many homeless people were having to choose between paying for care/supplies for their pets or their own subsistence. She has recently won a British Citizen Award for charitable services. Michelle is supported by seven trustees, plus our Executive Veterinary Director and clinical advisor, Caroline Scobie.
Please back our kennels project and help us to provide vital support for those rough sleeping and homeless who have a dog, enabling them to access a safe bed for the night, with their ‘street paw’ safely sleeping nearby. This is an essential first step on their journey to getting back on their feet.