Why Do Homeless People Have Dogs

One researcher noted that many dog owners reported their dogs knew when they were sad or emotional, an example of the “empathetic experience of a human-pet connection.” Several studies have found that homeless people credit their pet with saving their life and helping them quit using drugs or alcohol. [1] Homeless pet owners use their animals to promote socialization by taking them to parks and neighborhood vet offices, where they can mingle with other pet owners. Many homeless pet owners have strong emotional attachments to their animals[4] and report feeling less lonely as a result. [5]

Sense of Purpose and

One of the most terrible obstacles someone can experience is homelessness. The majority of homeless pet owners consider their animal to be the sole comfort in this cruel world.

Numerous studies demonstrate that owning a pet reduces the use of alcohol and drugs as well as other high-risk behaviors.

Animal friendship is crucial in people’s life because it provides them a sense of purpose and teaches them how to be accountable and responsible.

Mental and Physical Safety

A person’s health is threatened both physically and mentally by homelessness. A person who is battling with mental health issues can benefit from having a pet that they can take care of and that will take care of them in return. This can also improve their physical health.

Because they are required to care for their pet, a person feels a stronger responsibility to look after oneself. Their pet provides them with warmth and company throughout the chilly months. Having a pet not only lowers blood pressure and reduces stress, but it also boosts immunity, lowers the chance of heart attack and stroke, and alleviates both physical and mental pain.

Human Kindness for Pets of the Homeless

Having a cat can help homeless people feel seen again, even though they frequently feel invisible to the rest of society. If they have a pet with them, people are significantly more willing to interact and notice the homeless.

But we must understand that the homeless person is a human, not a pet. Once the person has a place of their own, the pet also does.

Why are the pets of homeless people so well behaved?

It has been observed that dogs who live with homeless people are typically well-behaved. The dog benefits from the person’s continual presence, which gives it security and a sense of wellbeing that a dog left alone at home all day does not.

Happy dogs on the streets?

When Marlena became homeless, she was just 14 years old. She reasoned that it would be best not to live with her family due to the growing tension at home.

I dropped out of school and became an outcast, but I eventually found a new community in Vancouver, British Columbia, and that crowd also happened to be homeless, she claims. Marlena, who slept in parks or on beaches, earned the majority of her money by panhandling or squeegeeing cars. Eating and resting took precedence over keeping clean. Some of the vacant hours were filled by drugs.

“I had been homeless for a year in 1999. Just about 12 weeks old, he was a Pit Bull/chocolate Lab mix. Marlena, who lived on the streets from 1998 to 2002, says she gave the boy the name Dioji.

The first focus was more on what a dog could provide for her than what she could provide for the dog. She wanted a dog buddy that wouldn’t judge her and would love her unconditionally every day because her street pals had pets. Nevertheless, she claims that “the dog always came first.” “He ate first, therefore I invested the money in the dog rather than spending it on drugs. He sort of rescued my life, in a way. He was more significant than smoking marijuana while sitting in an alley. I prioritized instead of wasting my money on frivolous purchases. He was my top concern.

Dioji was usually by her side and attached to her. She took the initiative to train him and never left him unattended. She claims that he was the most significant possession she owned.

I waited till he had food before even getting a slice of pizza, she claims. When she secured accommodation, Dioji moved in with her after living with her when she was homeless. Dioji eventually passed away just before Christmas 2013 due to old age and poor health.

Senior support worker John Kehler frequently encounters young people who are homeless and who have dogs. Directions Youth Services is a resource program for young people in difficulty. Because many of these youngsters relate to their dogs better than people, unless those individuals are dog experts, the youth generally divert their own limited financial resources to their pets. He observes that a dog fosters interaction.

Kehler discredits those who are concerned that the dogs of the homeless may be neglected or mistreated. “On the street, dogs are never mistreated. That is not acceptable on the street. They don’t mind criticizing others for bad behavior.

Dr. Shawn Llewellyn, a veterinarian, serves on the board of Paws for Hope, a Vancouver-based organization dedicated to the protection of companion animals over the long term. He offers assistance to street-involved or low-income pet caretakers through his Roxy’s Relief initiative, including food and bedding supplies as well as free veterinary treatments.

As he is known, Dr. Shawn observes personally the large number of street people who are dependent on and profoundly attached to their dogs.

The dogs “play a significant role in their lives. The pets sometimes help folks stay with us. He claims that despite having dogs, they don’t give up. “Rather than give up their dog, some will choose to live on the street. It is complete adoration.

Without their dogs, some owners could have given up on life altogether; they have already given up on the majority of the supports we take for granted.

There is a significant correlation, Dr. Shawn says. To feel wanted, they rely on their dogs. A two-way codependency exists. They have something to live for as a result. The pets came before themselves for them.

(If you want to quickly check whether this is true, start counting the number of dogs you see curled up on blankets with their owners sitting on the sidewalk.)

Dr. Shawn claims, “What I observe in practice and at Paws for Hope is that these dogs are cared for. Owners make every effort to enlist aid. No greater risk of health problems exists. There is no population issue. They’re fed. They are looked after. Additionally, the dogs are content and relaxed because they spend practically all of their time with their owners.

For basic veterinary care, Paws for Hope hosts clinic days where homeless people can bring their animals to a place they feel comfortable visiting. Dogs can receive a check-up, immunization, flea check, deworming, blood work, or even minor surgery at a partner veterinarian clinic, which is typically located in a human-partner facility. If more care is required, the dogs are monitored.

Bogatai, a very elderly Mastiff that limped into one clinic, experienced this. His owner asked Dr. Shawn for assistance after sensing something wasn’t right.

“We assisted in getting him started on painkillers for his aching joints. He adds that the owner of Bogatai just gets in touch with his own human support staff, who then call Dr. Shawn for extra medication, adding that we provided supplies for enough comfort for however long the dog had been gone.

Another illustration is Fester. He was bothered by the little Shih Tzu-lumps cross’s and bumps. His owner was worried about the dog’s health since he would scratch and lick.

He arrived at the clinic feeling frightened, upset, and unable to provide for the dog’s treatment although knowing it was necessary. He came to see what we had to offer and readily embraced it.

In the end, Fester visited a partner facility, where he received the essential veterinary care, and is currently doing well.

In order to prevent homeless people’s dogs from ending up in shelters or abandoned on the streets, Dr. Shawn sees his role as making sure that they are allowed to care for and maintain them.

He claims that these dogs are well-behaved and generally healthy.

We should not overlook the significant role these dogs play in the lives of the human population, he argues, even though there is much more that can be done to assist them.

A Pit Bull was once seen walking on a leash behind a homeless person, and Holly E. (she asked that we not use her last name) was curious as to how the dog was fed. She founded Best Friends for Life with a friend in Vancouver, a volunteer project that consists of simply two women coming together to gather food and supplies for street dogs. They gather and repackage food through their eight donation bins across the City, as well as new or lightly used leashes, collars, and other necessities (homeless persons cannot handle large bags or many tins of food).

They prefer that it isn’t a registered charity since it is simpler to gain the trust of the homeless community when they simply see the same two women bringing meals.

She claims, “We go every two weeks to distribute what we have at the same time, same area. They wait for us. Each visit, they assist 10 to 20 animals on average.

“Most dogs’ names are known to us. They are all exceptionally well-behaved and well-treated. None appear to be underweight or sick. The animals come first, and their owners are appreciative because they don’t have to worry about feeding their pets. These dogs are adored a lot. Holly has teamed up with a nearby company to store the canned dog food, allowing the dog owner to pick up four cans daily for his two dogs.

“He can travel alone. Although he is incredibly appreciative, we want him to feel self-sufficient. She claims that he tends to his own animal. Rex and Roach’s owner stated he wanted to do something kind for his dogs, so they are set to have a donated grooming.

Street dogs are like family, according to Holly.

They give unrestricted love. If the owners haven’t had a bath or washed their teeth, the dogs don’t care. They don’t mind if someone is high. They do not criticize them.

One thing is certain: having a dog changes the dynamic for many homeless people. Even though these dog owners offer their pups a lot of love, the greatest gift is what the dogs return to their owners. Dogs are loyal, faithful, and determined to help us, so it doesn’t matter how much money you make, what kind of house you live in, or even whether you even have a house. Just like Marlena’s best friend Dioji did, they see us for who we are rather than how others perceive us.

He was there for me at all times. He was my rock during an abusive relationship. He was there every time I felt down because he was aware of it. He loved me and kept me safe. He was a fantastic canine. Regardless of where you reside, I believe this is a sentiment that all dog lovers can share.

Why do begging people own dogs?

Because the authorities are less likely to harass them, many beggars have dogs. Dealing with a beggar alone is one thing; dealing with a beggar plus dog is quite another. Additionally, many beggars in the south have pets.

Why shouldn’t homeless people own dogs?

Animals also gain from this. Most animals would prefer continual company outside to alone.

However, a lot of homeless shelters and housing initiatives do not accept pets. For programs that are already underfunded, the costs, difficulties, and liabilities associated with housing animals can be prohibitive. However, the number of shelters that accept animals is growing.

I recently spoke with a few Los Angeles homeless and formerly homeless pet owners to find out more about their experiences.

In front of a line of tents on a busy roadway in downtown Los Angeles, Maria sells off-brand smokes. She maintains her tobacco products organized neatly on a small plastic tray, and Cici, a tiny Chihuahua puppy, plays and runs alongside the foot traffic on the sidewalk next to her or takes naps in the tiny carrier at her feet.

Maria claims that she has been residing here since being released from prison in November “for something I didn’t do. They didn’t realize I didn’t do it for 35 days. When she came out, her spouse of 37 years was no longer there. She continues, “He took all my money and all I owned.” “I slept on the sidewalk the day I left. My blanket was the jacket I was wearing, and my pillow was the cement.

The first few months, she recalls, “I was angry. However, in February she paid $40 for Cici from a street vendor. I was in a depressive state due to what my husband did, but she has helped me. To me, she has become everything. My life is hers.

Everyone in the tent city is familiar to Maria. Every few minutes, visitors come by to say hello. Even a couple, including Toby, a young man, purchase smokes. I take care of him and refer to him as my adopted son from the streets. Since the age of 16, he has lived on the streets. Toby just turned 20, according to Maria. “I gave him a huge cake, some cash, and some clothes. I’m the first person to have a birthday celebration in public.

Maria is expected to relocate to Long Beach’s Section 8 housing in a little more than a month. Even though her pals are far away, she is excited to leave. “A roof over my head is all I need. I’ll be fine as long as my dog and I understood that.

Taco refers to his 10-month-old puppy, Hambone, as his “best friend.”

I had no idea that someone could be so attached to an animal. Though I do.

Taco claims to have spent his entire childhood in California, with the exception of nine years spent in Chicago. Everything about Chicago, including the weather, was to my taste. She didn’t enjoy the weather, my ex-wife. We moved back to Los Angeles.

Taco is now a free man. “My guards are still up, but I long for the return of those familiar sentiments. Considering that I’m a rather romantic type of guy. However, Taco never feels lonely since he has Hambone. He lifts my spirits when I’m down. He will prod me. He will approach me out of concern before beginning to play and attempt to make me laugh.

Taco and Hambone reside in a modest SRO flat in a building managed by a non-profit social services organization. I arrived in Skid Row in search of supplies. My friend was describing the housing to me.

You’re on Skid Row, he says, adding that his flat is wonderful and much better than shelters he’s slept in. If you’ve ever visited a prison, Skid Row is similar to the courtyard. You must be prepared, and your shoes must be fastened.

Taco claims he is eager to move and that he is on the list for Section 8 housing. He believes he could enjoy living close to Staples Center. Hambone struggles on his leash as a woman passes by carrying a little dog while whining and sniffing the other dog. Taco chastises, “Stop it, stop it. “That dog is a female. Yes, she yelled at you. You’ll pick things up, and women too.

Thomasina’s yellow Chihuahua mix, “Flower,” has been a part of her family since she was a puppy.

In front of a store, this woman had a box full of them. She was purchased by the people I was staying with at the time for their kid, but they neglected to care for her. She was so tiny, infested with fleas, and terrified. I so began to look after her. She has been on my side ever since. Little buddy of mine in crime

Thomasina’s life was a complete mess five years ago. She had limited opportunities and no steady place to reside. “I desired the working world, but I was forced to live on the streets. I stumbled into prostitution. Her decision to visit Skid Row in search of homes and social services was partially motivated by Oprah Winfrey. She laughs, ‘I saw this tape of Oprah, and her words resonated to my heart. “She was telling me that I had to help myself and do what I had to do.

Thomasina was sent to a pet-friendly SRO. “That place was my haven,” she claimed. But it could be scary to live on Skid Row. There, women typically have brothers or boyfriends who can support them. There was just my dog and I. I had no one keeping an eye on me. I was a simple mark. She spent a lot of time hiding in her room due to the repeated harassment she received, sometimes from other building occupants. She claims that although it was cramped, her dog kept her sane.

Thomasina gave away all of Flower’s puppies when she had their litter a few years ago, but one was returned because he was too cautious. Both canines have since been certified as emotional support animals. Thomasina relocated from Skid Row to a modest apartment last year, which she calls “wonderful.” But since the landlord suddenly chose to ban pets, she was once more in danger of being homeless. She was able to fight the eviction and maintain her residence with her small Chihuahua family thanks to the NGO HEART.

Crushow calls himself a “art Jedi” and a community activist. He can only speak for a short while because he needs to get to his studio. This weekend, I have a performance at Hotel Rendon. Art at the Rendon is the name of it. Each artist is given a space in which to install their works.

I’m introduced to Crushow’s three pit bulls and Justice, a tortoiseshell kitten. The cat sits serenely on the edge of Crushow’s temporary shelter and scans the area. Crushow claims that his neighbors look after his pets while he is away, and he does the same for them. “We all attempt to watch out for one another.

Crushow has a mystical outlook on living on the streets. “So what if your box is bigger than mine? I have another box that I visit. and a workplace I visit. I also visit an art studio. No matter what kind of package it is. People are restricted and given thinking lessons. I’m not, though.

He sighs. Get caught up in the rat race all you want, but what will you have left when you pass away? How did you spend your time here? Simply considered yourself and your big-ass box?

“I like strolling around here,” Carol says as she and Boss, a big grey pit bull, pass through Little Tokyo. She points to Skid Row, where she resides. ” There, it seems like a combat zone. She responds, “Too long,” when I inquire how long she has been there. Long enough!

Carol claims that since Mother’s Day, she has been depressed. It hurts more during particular seasons of the year because her own mother passed away a couple of years ago. Anniversary’s are difficult. Her birthday is difficult. She gets a little boost of cheer from Walking Boss.

Boss and a few other dogs are looked after by Carol, according to Carol. He was one of nine puppies in his litter. “I attended to Lady, his mother, as she was giving birth. All those puppies were born over the course of 14 hours! That happened a year ago. After they had all had their vaccinations, we did not allow their paws to contact the sidewalk. Then they could contract Parvo.

A man on Skid Row introduces me to four pit bulls that he keeps in a kennel next to his tent two weeks later when we meet. One escapes the pen’s side and approaches quickly. Boss here! When a few of the other dogs follow his example, I understand that the pen is actually just some propped-up fencing. Although they might easily do so, the dogs would know better. After a while of playing with the dogs, their owner commands them to go back into the pen, and they all obediently trot home. They comply with his request to sit for my camera while still wagging their tails. He shakes his head when I ask how he became so skilled at training dogs. ” I never conduct interviews.