Dogs on the street (DOTS) cares 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 DOTS in October 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. So clearly, it’s so important to have a charity that provides for the homeless and their pets, which overtime, become their lifeline.
This is where DOTS comes in. Amongst all of the incredible work they do (at the moment they’re working with the dogs that have fled Ukraine) they have a pop up at the Strand in London every fortnight, offering free vet care, food supplies, poop bags and everything else homeless pups need.
The ‘true’ inspiration for DOTS, though, was a very special street dog named Poppy
Michelle, DOTS founder, 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. “We’ve recently signed a contract with Riverside, who have over 300 hostels on their books” says Stavi, head of logistics at DOTS. “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.
So far, we’ve helped by donating our food and poop bags, and volunteering at their pop up
We’ve also recently ran a ‘get one, gift one’ campaign on our website, meaning that through February and March we donated our wet food to DOTS every time someone bought something online.
But this is just the start
If you want to find out more about what DOTS do, or how you can get involved, head over their website.