Homelessness & Pets

Many of us wouldn’t dream of living without our furry friends, particularly in the trying and often lonely times of lockdown.

But for some people experiencing homelessness, the difficult choice between their pet dogs and a roof over their head comes up all too much.

Some hostels and temporary accommodation providers don’t allow dogs, which can leave those who are rough sleeping or in vulnerable housing having to choose between their pet and a bed for the night.

New research from Nottingham University and the Dogs Trust has found that pet ownership among homeless people has been linked with a range of benefits, including alleviating loneliness, isolation, depression, substance abuse and criminal activity.

But the researchers said pet ownership could also mean people stay homeless for longer as it can restrict their access to support services.

I Have a Name supports the homeless and their pets. There should never be a demarcation. Often homeless clients and their pets are inseparable.