Every Christmas, through its Together Through Homelessness scheme, Dogs Trust brings festive cheer to the dogs of people experiencing homelessness by delivering canine hampers of collars, leads, coats, treats and toys to dogs and their owners.
Dogs Trust has been running the unique service for over 30 years and as well as Christmas gifts, provides free veterinary treatment to dogs whose owners are experiencing or are at risk of homelessness.
In recent months Together Through Homelessness has seen an 82% rise in enquiries, as Crisis Homelessness Monitor 2023 shows that homelessness is on the rise in the UK.
This year, Together Through Homelessness will deliver almost 2,000 Christmas parcels to dogs and their owners at over 215 homelessness services across the UK.
Some of the services across Devon that have benefited from Dogs Trust’s Together Through Homelessness project include Julian House (Exeter), St Petrock’s (Exeter), Stepping Stones (Totnes) and Harbour Plymouth.
Dogs Trust is the UK’s largest dog welfare charity and normally cares for around 14,000 dogs across its network of 21 rehoming centres in the UK and one in Dublin.
As well as distributing Christmas hampers and offering free veterinary treatments Together Through Homelessness supports homelessness services to accept clients with dogs and helps them put in place practical guidelines. The project also provides starter packs of dog items to help new dogs feel welcome at homelessness services.