provide veterinary care or an emergency kennel space in various cities across the UK to support any pet owner experiencing homelessness.
Most pet owners would agree that their pet is part of the family. Our four (or one and more) legged friends show us unconditional love and can be a vital source of emotional support. At akt, we talk to lots of young people who face barriers to accessing accommodation because they have pets.
We’ve put this article together to inform you of your rights and options as a pet owner with a housing problem. We also understand that this is a very stressful situation for both the owner and the pet so have included some links to general pet advice services to aid you in this transition to a new home.
Pets and Homelessness
If someone becomes homeless, and needs to access emergency accommodation, most accommodation providers operate a ‘no pets’ policy, which means that people are often forced to choose between their pet or shelter.
Legally, pets are classed as a person’s property, which a local authority has duties to protect if they owe homelessness duties to a pet owner.
The Homelessness Code of Guidance advises local authorities to be sensitive and give special consideration to the importance of pets when looking for suitable emergency accommodation for homeless pet owners, but recognises that this isn’t always possible.
Dogs On The Streets (DOTS) is a charity built to help any homeless person with a dog with a variety of resources, from food, medical aid, housing and fostering.
If you find yourself in this position, there are charities doing amazing work who might be able to help you find a solution that works for you and your pet.