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Dogs Trust delivers Christmas Hope to people experiencing homelessness and their dogs

Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, is asking people to consider the canine companions of people experiencing homelessness when writing their letters to Santa this year.

Every Christmas, through its Hope Project, Dogs Trust brings festive cheer to the dogs of people experiencing homelessness by distributing canine hampers of collars, leads, coats, treats and toys to dogs and their owners. Dogs Trust has been running the unique Hope Project for nearly 30 years and as well as Christmas gifts, provides free veterinary treatment to dogs whose owners are experiencing homelessness or in housing crisis. 

This year, the Hope Project expects to deliver over 2000 Christmas parcels to dogs and their owners across the UK; a 24% increase in the number of parcels given out in 2021. Over the next few weeks, Christmas parcels will be delivered to more than 200 homelessness services across the UK.

This scheme and the other vital services provided by Dogs Trust are only made possible thanks to the generosity of the charity’s supporters. If you would like to help Dogs Trust’s work and ensure even more dogs benefit from services like the Hope Project please visit www.dogstrust.org.uk/hopeforchristmas 

Harriet Page, Pets and Housing Manager, explains: 

“Everyone knows that the bond between a dog and its owner is a strong one but for people experiencing homelessness, the bond is often unbreakable. Christmas can be an especially difficult and lonely time for people in housing crisis.

“However, thanks to the generosity of Dogs Trust supporters, this year we will be able to help over 2000 celebrate Christmas and support them into the New Year and beyond so that more dogs can stay with their owners, regardless of their housing situation”.

Janet Martin works for leading homelessness charity St Mungo’s and manages a supported housing hostel in Camden. The hostel is dog friendly and can accommodate up to five dogs at any one time.

“Dogs Trust has been supporting our clients for many years with Christmas gifts which typically mean more to them that any gift we are able to give to them personally at Christmas time. Dogs are the one true relationship that many clients have in their lives; their reason to get up every day and keep going. Being able to celebrate that with a gift always bring joy to our clients.’’

As well as distributing Christmas hampers and offering free veterinary treatments the Hope Project supports homelessness services to accept clients with dogs and helps them put in place practical guidelines. 

Homelessness organisations or veterinary surgeries interested in finding out more information about the scheme should call Dogs Trust on 020 7833 7611 or email hopeproject@dogstrust.org.uk.