Our Welcoming Dogs endorsement scheme and Framework homelessness charity are celebrating after working together to endorse four of their services in Lincolnshire. To ensure their pet-friendly policies were implemented with due care and attention to both the owner and the animal, Framework decided to work with us in the Welcoming Dogs endorsement scheme. The services were supported by our team by putting together and implementing bespoke pet policies as well as with resources on risk assessments and referrals, and doggie items to help the staff at the services feel confident when welcoming clients with their dogs.
Louise Hart, a Service Manager across some of Framework’s Lincolnshire services says:
“The Framework Lincolnshire staff are animal lovers and felt that if they were ever in a position to have to choose between a family member, as many pets are, and housing it would be a devastating choice to make.
“Framework recognises that looking after an animal is a life skill and a transferable skill. It shows dedication, responsibility and care. These are all skills that should be encouraged and supported.
“Allowing dogs into the service, for both staff and service users, has been extremely successful. It has helped to foster a friendly caring atmosphere and has often helped to disarm people’s preconceptions of a homeless service. It has supported the mental health and wellbeing of all, it is a conversation starter and a way to build rapport with people.”
This is great news for dog owners experiencing homelessness in Lincolnshire. In a recent survey of professionals supporting those experiencing homelessness, 70% told Dogs Trust that their clients had experienced barriers for accessing homelessness services because they have a dog.
Further to this, 84% were aware of one or more cases where someone had refused an offer of temporary or emergency accommodation as it would have meant giving up their dog.
Just 51% of the homelessness services that responded to the Dogs Trust survey said that their services were dog friendly.
Wendy Miller, Pets and Housing Regional Engagement Coordinator at Dogs Trust says:
“For most dog owners, being separated from their dog is no different from being separated from a family member. Many dog owners experiencing homelessness are forced to make the heart-breaking decision to give up their beloved pets just so they can have somewhere safe and secure to sleep.
“We don’t think anyone should have to choose between a bed or their faithful friend, and we work with many housing providers, to successfully offer dog-friendly accommodation.
“It has been brilliant working with our friends at Framework in Lincolnshire, supporting their services to become dog-friendly, ensuring dog owners in the area are able to access temporary accommodation when they need it most.
‘’It’s incredibly important that pet-friendly housing is available at every step of someone’s housing pathway, and we’re keen to work with as many homelessness services as possible so that we can help keep people and their pets together.
To find out more about our Welcoming Dogs endorsement scheme and support available to homelessness services, please visit this page.