Together Through Homelessness supports 10,000th dog

Our Together Through Homelessness scheme has reached the impressive milestone of supporting 10,000 dogs with over 30,000 free vet treatments. Not only has this improved the welfare of thousands of dogs around the UK, but it’s also enabled many more dogs to remain in the care of their owners.  

The Together Through Homelessness project, run by Dogs Trust, provides free emergency and routine veterinary care across the UK to the dogs of those experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The project also works with homelessness services to help them to become dog-friendly. This is achieved through the provision of bespoke support and ongoing advice on everything from dog-friendly policies to dog behaviour resources. The Together Through Homelessness project also provides starter packs of dog items to help new dogs feel welcome at their new home.  

In addition, every Christmas, the Together Through Homelessness team distributes parcels to homelessness services supporting dog owners. In December 2023, almost 2000 parcels containing collars, leads, coats, festive treats, and toys were delivered to more than 200 UK homelessness services supporting dog owners.

The support provided by Dogs Trust’s Together Through Homelessness project is a lifeline to dog owners experiencing homelessness, who often find themselves having to choose between their dog and somewhere safe to sleep. In a survey conducted in 2022, 70% of the homelessness professionals surveyed told Dogs Trust that their clients had experienced barriers to accessing support 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.  

James Hickman, Head of Outreach Projects at Dogs Trust, says:

“For many people experiencing homelessness, their dog is more than just a faithful companion; they are family. We are proud that, since it was set up three decades ago, the Together Through Homelessness project has supported over 10,000 dogs with more than 30,000 free vet treatments, making it easier for them to stay with their owners.

“We don’t believe anyone should have to choose between their dog and somewhere safe to sleep, which is why not only do we provide free health care to the dogs of those experiencing homelessness, but we also work closely with service providers to ensure pet friendly support is available at every step of the housing pathway.”

Emmaus Cambridge is one of the homelessness services that Dogs Trust supports through the Together Through Homelessness scheme. Emmaus Cambridge provides people who have experienced homelessness with a home, work opportunities, and therapeutic support in a community setting. The Emmaus community is dog-friendly and welcomes people who have pets.

Lee is a companion supported by Emmaus Cambridge. After experiencing homelessness, Lee now lives at Emmaus Cambridge alongside his dog Lulu. Speaking about his bond with Lulu, Lee said:

“Lulu settled into the community really quickly, she loves being here and everyone makes a fuss of her. She enjoys a run around the fields which is typically followed by a long leisurely snooze. If she gets the chance, she hops on the bed and takes up most of the space. I wouldn’t be without her.”

St Mungo’s supports thousands of people experiencing homelessness each year and its pet friendly policies have been endorsed under the Dog Trust Together Through Homelessness scheme. Natalie Rose-Weir, Service Manager in Kensington & Chelsea, West London says:

“St Mungo’s is proud to welcome pets. We have seen the benefits of our clients being able to be housed alongside their pets, including improvements in their mental, physical, and emotional health. Pets are a part of the family – we do not want to split them up in the search for stable housing.

“It has been beautiful to witness many clients and their pets, to see the love and bonds between them, and to see their relationship grow as they find stable accommodation.”

If you work in a homelessness service and would like to find out more about how we can support your clients with dogs on our vet scheme, please visit this page. 

Our cookies

We use cookies, which are small text files, to improve your experience on our website.
You can allow or reject non essential cookies or manage them individually.

Reject allAllow all

More options  •  Cookie policy

Our cookies

Allow all

We use cookies, which are small text files, to improve your experience on our website. You can allow all or manage them individually.

You can find out more on our cookie page at any time.

EssentialThese cookies are needed for essential functions such as logging in and making payments. Standard cookies can't be switched off and they don't store any of your information.
AnalyticsThese cookies help us collect information such as how many people are using our site or which pages are popular to help us improve customer experience. Switching off these cookies will reduce our ability to gather information to improve the experience.
FunctionalThese cookies are related to features that make your experience better. They enable basic functions such as social media sharing. Switching off these cookies will mean that areas of our website can't work properly.
AdvertisingThese cookies help us to learn what you're interested in so we can show you relevant adverts on other websites and track the effectiveness of our advertising.
PersonalisationThese cookies help us to learn what you're interested in so we can show you relevant content.

Save preferences