Dogs on the street (DOTS) care for the dogs of the homeless community. They give homeless dog owners everything they need to look after their pets, including free vet care, food, poop bags and toys. We started working with them in 2018, and we’ve loved supporting the amazing work they do.
"Only 7% of the homeless community would give up their dog for somewhere to live."
This is a decision they have to face daily, because only 10% of hostels in the UK accept dogs. That's why it’s so important to have a charity that provides for the homeless and their pets, which over time, becomes their lifeline.
This is where DOTS comes in. Their longest running project is a fortnightly pop up in central London, offering free vet care, grooming, food supplies, poop bags and everything else homeless pups need. Sunshine or rain, they're always there. Since launch, they have set up a shelter and other essential projects to further support their community.
The ‘true’ inspiration for DOTS, though, was a very special street dog named Poppy.
DOTS founder, Michelle, had already been running a street outreach programme for 6 years tending to the needs of the homeless.
In 2017, she was approached by Poppy’s owner, who had fallen ill and needed to go into accommodation for a while. They asked Michelle to look after Poppy in the meantime. The bond Michelle then formed with Poppy encouraged her to do even more work within the community. And so, she founded DOTS.
From dog sanctuaries to foster programs, DOTS’ impact on the homeless community is huge.
Along with Street Paws, they’ve even formed a Dog Champion Scheme so dogs can join their owners in hostels. The DOTS team told us “We’ve recently signed a contract with Riverside, who have over 300 hostels on their books”.
“We’re training up one person from each hostel to be a Dog Champion. They’ll then be able to welcome dogs as residents alongside their homeless owners”. They’re also in talks with HMPS about bringing dogs into London Prisons as a form of rehabilitation.
As well as volunteering at their London popup, we’ve donated over 6000 meals and lots of poop bags. And this is just the start of our work together.
If you want to find out more about the amazing work DOTS do, or how you can get involved, let us know and we can help.