Do the Houseless Deserve Dogs?
When FURgotten Paws connects with new donors and organizations, one of the most asked questions we receive is “Do the homeless deserve dogs”.
I answer without hesitation, “Absolutely!”.
Dogs have long been considered ‘Man’s Best Friend’ and for good reasons. Dogs are loving, loyal and non-judgmental. They provide their owners emotional, mental and physical support. Having a pet can provide a houseless individual a purpose to care for something and often inspires them to keep going. Pets can give security against the dangers of living on the streets and can even provide warmth and much needed physical contact.
Another point to remember, is that while some pets are adopted while an individual is already houseless, a large majority of these pets were adopted BEFORE their owner became houseless.
Did you know that almost half of Americans have little to no savings in place to cover unexpected emergencies (like job loss or medical expenses)? These individuals are anywhere from 1 to 3 paychecks away from houselessness. In our state, the rising costs of rent has pushed many Colorado residents out of their homes and into the streets. Many of these families hope this situation is temporary and choose to keep their family pet with them instead of surrendering.
Could you imagine making that decision? To keep your best friend of ten years with you or surrender them to a shelter out of your control. For some, they fear that their beloved pet will be euthanized if the no-kill shelters are full. According to ASPCA and No Kill Advocacy Center, an estimated TWO MILLION pets are euthanized yearly at shelters. No Kill Colorado is a local organization that is dedicated to making Colorado the safest state for shelter pets to help change these numbers. Until euthanization is ended in Colorado, this is a huge factor in why people choose to keep their pets. We can only hope that none of you are ever forced to make the decision about keeping or surrendering your pet due to homelessness. Please keep this information in mind the next time you see a houseless individual with a pet.
FURgotten Paws does not believe that we can condemn a person for owning a pet just because of their housing situation. If a person cares for and loves their pet, we see no reason why they do not deserve a dog. Let the next question be, “How can I help”. And furthermore, do any of us really ‘deserve’ the blessing that is to be loved by the pure soul of a dog?
For more information please read the article, “8 Reasons Homeless People ‘Deserve’ to Have Dogs”, by Danielle Wolffe. (https://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/8-reasons-homeless-people_…)